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Little Space Will

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Hannibal startled from the sudden loud and incessant rapping of knuckles on his front door. Who could be visiting him at such an hour?

It was half past midnight.

He’d been relaxing in his chair by the fire with a novel when the sound started. With a deep aching groan he got up from his chair and made his way into the foyer, tugging his red sweater sleeves down to cover his hands, which was more of a nervous gesture than anything.

He had an idea of who it was but he couldn’t be sure. Peering through the small peephole his suspicions were proven correct. He opened the door to see Will standing there, his clothing flecked with bits of the rain that had just started coming down.

“Will, why are you here?” He wasn’t going to complain, he loved the agent’s company but he was confused. “I didn’t get a phone call. You always tell me when you’re coming over…”

“I’m sorry I left my phone at home today,” Will pushed through past Hannibal into the house uninvited. He was wringing his hands and was shaking slightly, his words coming out rushed, visibly upset about something.

“What’s wrong?” Hannibal said, reaching up to place his hand on Will’s forehead testing for a fever. “What happened?”

Will shook his head, politely removing Hannibal’s hand from his head.

“Was it something you saw in the field?”

Will’s job was to analyze crime scenes, stare at the gore and empathize with whomever the killer was to help the FBI discover clues and vital information toward finding whomever carried out such atrocities. Most of the time he could handle it. But sometimes it got to be too much.

Will nodded, covering his sweat coated face with his hands and rubbing them down leaving his palms damp.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Hannibal said, following Will with his eyes. He could sense what was coming, what they both knew Will needed.

Will shook his head, a silent tear streaming from his eye. Hannibal stepped closer to hold Will’s head between his hands, caressing his cheeks with his thumbs. “What do you need?”

Hannibal was never one to push it or force it, it was always Will’s decision.

“I need my Daddy,” Will’s voice softened, looking up at Hannibal with teary eyes that had begun to brim over, spilling down his cheeks, his green eyes gleaming and wide, pleading.

“I’m right here, honey,” Hannibal cooed, stroking his cheeks with his thumbs again. “Do you want me to dress you?”

Will nodded.

”All the way today?” 

Hannibal was asking Will if he has regressed all the way into needing his very smallest things.

Will nodded again. 

“Come,” Hannibal held out his hand which Will took without question, not lacing their fingers together but just holding tight. “Remember you need to hold my hand when we go up the stairs, you’re far too little, you may fall and hurt yourself.”

Will nodded, using the sleeve of his tweed professor’s jacket to wipe some of his tears away. “I know.” He whined. It was embarrassing to be so little that he needed Daddy’s help with everything, though that was the point. This was Will’s time to forget everything, every grown up responsibility and focus on regressing. He knew Hannibal would be there to care for him in any way he needed.

Hannibal walked up the stairs slowly helping Will up too, pausing every few steps to softly suggest where Will should step next. Will’s heart fluttered. Hannibal really took his title of Daddy seriously, never wanting Will to have to worry about a single thing. Even where to step.

Upon finally making it up the stairs Hannibal directed him toward the bedroom. “Do you want Daddy to undress you or do you want to do that all by yourself?” He frequently gave Will small choices to gauge how independent he was and just how deeply he had regressed.

“Want you to do it,” Will said rubbing his runny nose with his jacket again.

“No no,” Hannibal lowered Will’s arm. “We don’t use our sleeves as snotty rags, do we? What are we supposed to use?” He held Will’s hands in his own.

Will shrugged.

Hannibal chuckled softly. “Not the sleeve to your shirt I can tell you that much.” He sighed seeing Will looking down ashamed of himself. His bottom lip trembling, he looked as if he were about to cry again.

“What’s wrong?” Hannibal cooed, petting the sides of Will’s hair.

“Daddy’s mad at me?”

Hannibal’s face dropped, “No, honey, Daddy’s not mad at you,” he rubbed Will’s arms up and down and cupped his shoulders. “Daddy could never be cross with you. Not unless you’re a bad boy and you haven’t been one of those in a long time, have you?”

Will shook his head, a pout still on his lips.

Hannibal shushed him softly, kissing his forehead. He held Will in a hug and rocked him, whispering things in his ear about how much his Daddy loved him and how good of a boy he was and how he didn’t need to worry about anything ever.

Will clung to him, never wanting to let go. Before the unorthodox treatment was suggested by Hannibal over six months ago he had never heard of it, but now it was Will’s very favorite form of therapy.

“Let’s get you out of these clothes and into your soft things. Hmm?”

Will nodded. Yes that was a very good idea.

Hannibal shed Will of his professor’s jacket, unbuckled and unbuttoned his boy’s grey slacks, leaving them to plop onto the floor. He helped Will step out of them and went to work on unbuttoning and shedding Will’s shirt, a maroon coloured number. Will stood there silent but observing everything, watching Hannibal’s deft and long fingers work helping him out of his grown up clothes so he could put him in his baby things.

He was left in his boxers when Daddy told him to lay on the bed so he could grab his bag of supplies. This was always his favorite part of becoming little, the transformation.

Hannibal returned from his bathroom with the leather duffel bag of supplies and plopped it down on the bed next to where Will lay in only his underwear, his legs and arms splayed and relaxed against the mattress.

“Let’s get these off, hmm?” Hannibal said playfully tickling Will’s lower stomach an inch above the band of his boxers. Will giggled trying to push Hannibal’s hands away.

“Daddy stop,” he smiled.

They made eye contact and time seemed to halt.

They hadn’t contemplated a relationship before any of the age play started half a year ago, never seemed interested in one another until then.

Their first playtime was awkward but Will delved into it quickly, becoming addicted to it in the process. Hannibal’s soft touches and the way he seemed to care so deeply caused Will to develop feelings for the man. But he wasn’t sure if Hannibal returned them, which made him worried.

When Hannibal was his Daddy he would always tell little Will he loved him, but whether that was just play talk or if he really felt something, Will wasn’t sure. They never spoke of it outside of playtime. Not ever.

Hannibal reached his fingers into the band of Will’s boxers and slid them down and off.

“Legs up,” he said softly, a kind smile on his face.

Will bent his legs so his knees were close to his ears.

“Puppies or trains?” Hannibal asked, rubbing Will’s slightly hairy leg. He was never a very hairy man but he didn’t shave for playtime either, never found it necessary. Hannibal didn’t mind, it was always what Will was comfortable with.

Will thought about it for a second, he had puppies three times in a row a couple days ago. “Trains!” He beamed.

Hannibal grinned in response, Will’s smile was always contagious. He reached for one of the diapers in the duffel with trains on the front band. Hannibal held Will’s feet together and pressed back so he could lift him up and set down the diaper under his bottom.

Hannibal reached for the diaper cream and lathered Will’s bottom with the stuff, lightly patting it over his balls and along the shaft of his soft penis. “That’s it,” he cooed. No scratchies. Not today.”

Will knew the drill, after the cream was applied he dropped his legs to allow Daddy to close up his nappy. Hannibal lifted the front panel and tugged the straps, wrapping Will snug in the diaper.

“Thank you, Daddy,” he said softly.

“You’re welcome,” Hannibal said. “My my what a polite boy I have.” He bent down to kiss Will’s forehead causing the man to giggle again.

Will stilled. “Mr. Bear?” Hannibal blindly reached into the duffel to produce Will’s stuffed bear. He beamed upon seeing him and quickly cuddled him to his chest. Hannibal smiled down at the scene before looking over at the digital alarm clock on his bedside table. It was just after twelve-forty-five.

“It’s bedtime, honey.”

Will nodded, no fighting, not today. The day had been long and tough for him already. All he wanted was to go to sleep.

“Nightshirt or onesie?”

“Nightshirt, please.”

Hannibal pulled out a big white t-shirt with a cartoon doggy on the front. He helped Will into it and it fell just below his diaper.

“Your nursery or do you want to stay in Daddy’s room tonight, lamb?” He smoothed his boy’s curls back.

Hannibal had renovated a room just for Will for when he stayed over and when he needed all of this. It had toys and dress-up things and an adult-sized crib. He did it all for his boy. He would do anything for Will Graham. But he’d yet to have the courage to tell Adult Will that.

Will’s hands were still wrapped tightly around Mr. Bear when he answered with a yawn. “With you, Daddy.”

He loved how Daddy always gave him choices. Simple and basic. It made him feel big although he was small. He had work in the morning and he was trying to forget about it. Will pouted, knowing he could only be little for a few more hours before a new stressful and demanding day started.

Will placed his own thumb in his mouth and began to suck. “No no,” Hannibal sighed reaching to his duffle again to produce Will’s pacifier and took off the cover, offering it to Will. Will took it graciously and placed it into his mouth with a comical pop.

“There you go,” Hannibal cooed, kissing Will’s forehead again. He got a baby wipe and wiped it over Will’s face and nose, cleaning him of tears and little bits of snot.

“Get in the bed, honey, under the blankets. Let Daddy put your bag up and use the toilet and I’ll be right there.”

Will scooted up on the bed and got under the comforter, the diaper between his legs crinkling with the movement. He cuddled Mr. Bear against him and sucked softly on his dummy, keeping his eyes on the bathroom door waiting for Daddy to join him again.

He heard Daddy going wee into the toilet and he blushed, squeezing his legs together. He had to go too but he held back, too tired for a changing, he would do it in the night and let Daddy clean him up before work in the morning.

As soon as the bathroom door opened Will called to him.

“Daddy?” He squeaked.

“I’m coming,” he lifted the comforter and scooted over to Will, caressing his boy’s face. They stared into each other’s eyes for a while in silence before Hannibal spoke again. His voice low and soft. “You feel better, Will?”

Will knew he was addressing Adult Will at that moment. He nodded, still sucking on his pacifier.

Hannibal signaled for Will to roll over so he could spoon him, pressing his chest up against his baby boy’s back, his diaper crinkling again, holding him firm against his body. “Now you feel just right. Don’t you?”

Will nodded sleepily, his eyes beginning to droop.

Hannibal nuzzled into Will’s curls. “Go to sleep, baby.” His breath was hot against the back of his baby’s neck. “Daddy will protect you from everything. You don’t have to worry about a thing.” 

 

Chapter Text

When the alarm clock went off at six in the morning Will woke up with a soft whimper, ducking his face into the pillow and squeezing Mr. Bear impossibly tight. He wasn’t ready to slip out of little space and away from his Daddy and go to work. He wasn’t ready to be big again. He felt like he’d just fallen asleep.

Hannibal turned away to set the alarm to snooze for another ten minutes. He enveloped Will from behind again, nuzzling against his soft curls.

“I know, honey,” Hannibal said into his ear. He rubbed his palm along Will’s arm. “I know you don’t want to be big again.”

He didn’t. He wished he could call into work and spend all day with Daddy playing and relaxing and cuddling, but he couldn’t. Plus Daddy had his own patients to see. Life wasn’t fair sometimes.

Will’s body shifted, his diaper crinkling between his legs. He realized at that moment, still floating in and out of sleep, that he had indeed gone to the bathroom in the night. His diaper was damp, but not obscenely. He could wait another ten minutes for a changing. He wanted to enjoy his last sleepy morning moments with Daddy undisturbed.

Hannibal began to whisper to Will how good of a boy he was and how he could get through whatever he set his mind to and how smart his boy was and how handsome and cute and how he could come back to his house after work again that night if he really wanted. Will hung to his words, focusing on Daddy’s deep voice, butterflies going crazy in his tummy. He loved him so much.

The alarm went off again. Too soon. Hannibal turned it off and sat up on his side.

Will felt Daddy’s finger go under the band of the leg of his diaper to test him for wetness.

“Did someone go pee pee in the night?”

Will nodded, still sucking his pacifier.

“Well that’s what they’re for, aren’t they? Let’s get you changed up and Daddy will make breakfast that will set us up for a successful day. How does that sound?”

Will would prefer to not leave the bed at all. Stupid adult responsibilities. He scowled.

He allowed Daddy to pull the blankets back and situate him onto his back. He left to get the duffel again and was back in a jiffy, sliding the changing pad under his sleepy boy.

Before Hannibal pulled the tabs of Will’s diaper he looked down into his eyes. It was still dark out but the light from the moon poured in the window making Will look more angelic than normal. Sucking on his dummy and holding his bear, looking up at Hannibal like he was his world. Like he was completely dependent on him.

Will was an adult and was capable of taking care of himself of course, but it made Hannibal feel so warm and happy to coddle his boy.

Hannibal changed him even though Will would have to take off the new diaper in about an hour anyway when he left for work. Will loved being changed, loved the silly voices Daddy conjured up, the soft touches, the feeling of being little and helpless.

Daddy taped him into a new diaper and leant to kiss Will’s binkie causing the boy to blush and giggle. He loved when Daddy kissed his dummy.

He helped Will up and held his hand as they made their way down into the kitchen. Will brought Mr. Bear with him, sitting him down on the dining table to play with while Daddy cooked.

Will imagined Mr. Bear was a knight that would protect him from the horrors he would see at work that day. Mr. Bear shoving at his boss, Jack’s, chest and telling him not to push Will too hard, he was just a baby and was scared sometimes. Will made Mr. Bear’s arms move as he acted out the scene in his head.

The smell of scrambled eggs interrupted Will’s fantasy as Daddy placed a smiling frog plate in front of him with the eggs and wheat toast and turkey sausage on it, accompanied by a sippy cup of orange juice.

“Please get Mr. Bear off the table while you eat, honey. Hold him in your lap.”

Will tugged his binkie out and placed it on the napkin next to his cup. “But he wants breakfast too, Daddy.”

“Will,” Hannibal said with a soft stern look in his eyes. The week before Will had fed Mr. Bear some of his soup at lunch time and got him soaked in chicken broth and Daddy had to wash him twice. He didn’t want a repeat of that.

“Yes, Daddy,” Will sighed.

They ate in silence for a while. Will’s plate was half clean and he had drank all his orange juice from his sippy cup when his voice changed into his normal tone and he began speaking as the adult he was again.

“I really don’t want to go to work,” Will said, pushing the rest of his eggs around his plate.

“I know,” Hannibal said, taking a sip of his coffee. “But you can’t call in. Jack needs you.”

“It was really bad last night.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Will shrugged. “Not particularly. But I have to go back to the same crime scene today, so I might as well. It was horrible.”

Hannibal reached over to hold the top of Will’s hand, stroking him with his thumb.

“God knows I’ve seen some bad things, but…I just couldn’t deal last night. I needed…this. Immediately. I left the scene early to drive here. I don’t know if Jack has tried to reach me since I left my phone at home yesterday morning. He’s probably pissed.”

“Do you want me to go with you? I can help calm you. We can tell Jack together that you needed an emergency meeting with me and that’s why you left early.” He was after all Will’s psychiatrist. One Jack had hired to take care of Will months ago and give him a psych evaluation. But nobody, especially Jack, knew what form of therapy Will had taken to.

“No,” Will said. “I need to do this myself. I’ll be fine.” He shifted on his chair, his diaper crinkling, reminding himself of what he was wearing. “You know I love this all more than anything…nothing helps me more than this. But I hate it sometimes. Hate how weak I am. That I need this…”

“You’re not weak,” Hannibal said, squeezing his hand. “Everyone needs an escape. Some people use drugs, some promiscuity…this is a safe and controlled way of calming yourself. Don’t feel bad about it. Ever.”

Will nodded. “I should get ready for work.” He got up. He kept some of his work clothes at Hannibal’s house for days like this. He reached for his plate but Hannibal told him to leave it, he would clean up.

“Can I come back tonight? Or do you have plans?”

“You’re always welcome.” He had a ticket to the opera that night but if Will needed him that was more important.

Will nodded, avoiding eye contact before leaving to get dressed. “Thank you.”

 

Chapter Text

Hannibal had just finished seeing his second patient of the day when he got a phone call, the landline ringing loud and incessant. He’d been working on a sketch between appointments when it had started. He got up and strode across the room, his long legs carrying him swiftly toward his destination.

“Hello?”

“Dr. Lecter?”

Hannibal immediately recognized the voice on the phone to be Will’s boss at the FBI, Jack Crawford. Although Jack was his friend and needed his help with many things other than Will Graham, Hannibal immediately began to worry. He managed to keep his voice steady.

“Hello, Jack. You caught me at the perfect time, I’m between patients at the moment.”

“Hannibal we need your help here, if there’s any way you could either cancel or postpone your appointments to later in the day…”

“Is this about Will?” Hannibal couldn’t help himself.

“It is,” Jack said. “I’m worried for his mental state on this one. He’s already snapped at me and Price this morning, I think I’m pushing him too far again. I’ve never seen him this bad.”

“Can you let him leave the scene for a while? Decompress.”

“I’ve offered but he’s stubborn, he wants to figure out this case as much as I do. I offered to call you so you could come give him a quick session, the FBI will cover it of course.”

“What did Will say?”

“He said not to call you, said he was capable of mending himself back together but, Hannibal…I really don’t think he is.”

“What’s the address?”

 •••

Hannibal went home to grab the things he needed and headed to the crime scene, calling his two remaining patients to regretfully cancel on them, pushing their appointments to the following week. Hannibal was having trouble at first finding the scene in the hotel lot but once he noticed the cluster of black vans he parked near them.

He made his way through them and saw Jack standing outside, Hannibal placed his hand warmly on his shoulder. Jack turned and gave him a sad smile that Hannibal returned.

“Thank you for coming.”

“Where is he?”

Jack lead him into the room containing the gore, Hannibal didn’t so much as flinch at the smell, too focused on finding Will.

He noticed Will crouched down over the body, gloves on his hands, his eyes closed focusing on doing what he did best.

“Will?” Jack’s voice although soft still came out booming startling Will out of his stupor. He opened his eyes and immediately found Hannibal’s.

For a moment Little Will’s face passed over Adult Will’s. His face became soft and his eyes widened for just a moment before righting itself.

Hannibal smiled softly, hoping it would soothe him but Will looked away, slightly annoyed.

“Will, you need to take a break, go talk with Hannibal for a bit,” Jack said.

“I’ll be okay,” Will said. “I’m a big boy, Jack.” He scoffed, his voice low.

Hannibal’s lips tightened. Why was he acting this way? Making digs at his little self that nobody would be able to catch but Hannibal. He had expected Will to run at him in excitement, not deny his help. Something truly was wrong.

“It’s an order, Will, you’re a liability the way you are right now.”

Will exhaled, his entire body deflating.

“You’re not going to let this go are you?”

“No, I’m not.” Jack said, his voice stern. “You need to talk with someone, so instead of sending you to a psychiatrist I brought yours to you. We’re covering the session, go talk with him.” When Will didn’t move Jack raised his voice, booming at fully capacity causing Will’s body to jolt. “Now!”

Will got up with a huff, ripping the gloves from his hands and pocketing them before walking past Hannibal out the door.

“Sorry, Dr. Lecter,” Jack said.

Hannibal nodded. “Give me half an hour.” He turned and walked after Will. He found him by his car leaning up against the passenger’s side door, his arms crossed over his chest. He ignored Hannibal as he approached him.

“What’s wrong?” Hannibal cooed. They were out of earshot from everyone else, and nobody could see them from where he had parked between the huddle of vans. He ran his fingers through the ends of Will’s hair, his palm tightening softly on the back of his neck. “I’ve never seen you like this.”

The scowl on Will’s face faded away and Little Will’s expressions seeped back, taking over his mind. His bottom lip began to quiver and he met Hannibal’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” his voice soft, reaching to hold Hannibal hugging him tight resting his head on his chest. Hannibal reciprocated by patting the back of his head and holding him tight with his other arm but his face held unamused.

“Will…I know you want to retreat right now, but I’m not here for that. I need Big Will back for a while, we need to talk about this.”

“No,” Will whined, squeezing him even tighter. “Daddy please I just wanna be little for a bit. Please, Daddy, please!”

“No, Will,” Hannibal said. He never wanted to deny Will of retreating into the safe space of his mind but it was dire. “I need you to be a big boy for me right now. Didn’t you tell Jack just now that you were a big boy?”

Will nodded.

“Why did you say that?”

Will shrugged into the hug.

“Were you trying to hurt me when you said that? You knew only I would understand the context?”

Will leaned back. When he spoke again his voice was deep.

“Yeah,” he nodded, avoiding eye contact. He was ashamed of himself. “I’m not sure why I said it. I don’t like the fact that I need to regress, you know that.” He presses his fingers on either side of his sinuses feeling a headache coming on. “It was a backhanded comment.. I didn’t mean it to come out so harsh.”

“What’s been going on with you lately?” Hannibal said. “Hmm?” He held Will’s face in his hands.

Will’s hands wrapped around Hannibal’s wrists and hesitantly looked into his eyes.

“I can’t do this anymore.”

“This?”

“This job. It’s killing me. I want to go back to only working in the classroom, I don’t want to be in the field anymore. I’m so much more comfortable just seeing the photos and lecturing on them. Seeing it in person is…something else. But I have a responsibility. Jack needs me...”

“You don’t owe anybody anything. You and your emotions come first before anything else,” Hannibal said. “You know that don’t you?”

Will nodded, they stood in silence for a moment.

“Hannibal?” His voice was soft.

Will so rarely called him by his first name, it was mostly either Daddy or Dr. Lecter. Hearing it was still strange.

“What is it?”

“Do you really love me?” Will said. “Or is it just something you say when I’m little? I mean...we’re not even in a relationship…it’s okay if you don’t I’m just...curious I guess.”

“I have special feelings for you, Will. Very special ones.”

“But you don’t love me?”

“I never said that.”

“When this started, at the very beginning I enjoyed it at the time but I was humiliated afterward, like a boulder of guilt and embarrassment was crushing my chest for hours after it was over and I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with it. Over time I really started to enjoy it for reasons above just regressing for myself. I thought about someone else being my Daddy and it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t into it at all. I think it’s less about me retreating to a safe place and more about being with you…”

“Is that why you’re acting out? Pushing me away? You love it so much that you’ve come to hate it? Scared of losing it? Protecting your heart?”

Will nodded.

“Will, honey,” Hannibal said, rubbing his thumbs over Will’s stubbled cheeks. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“Really?” Will’s breath caught in his throat, his voice finding a childish lilt again. His eyes glowing.

“Really,” Hannibal said. “This all started as a way to help you but something grew from it. Didn’t it? You know that just as much as I do.

Will nodded enthusiastically. “Daddy…” he clung to Hannibal’s wrists. “I love you.”

“Oh, honey,” Hannibal sighed. Pulling his boy into his chest again, kissing his forehead. “Daddy loves you too, little one. So very much.”

Hannibal held him for a while rocking the two of them together as they stood before he was softly telling Will to get into the backseat of his car.

Will climbed in and Hannibal in next to him. His windows were tinted so neither of them had to worry about being seen.

“Did you bring Mr. Bear, Daddy?”

“Of course, how could I forget your dearest friend?”

He reached around into the front seat of the car and unbuckled the seatbelt bringing Mr. Bear to the backseat and into Will’s awaiting arms.

“He rode in the front?” Will said excitedly, clinging to his favorite toy. “In the big seat?”

“He did!” Hannibal said. “He was very helpful and helped me read the map on the way here. He kept telling me how excited he was to see you again.”

Will giggled. “Really?”

Hannibal nodded. “He made me stop and get him some soup on the way.”

“No he didn’t!” Will giggled again, hiding his face in Mr. Bear’s fur.

“Yes he did,” Hannibal nodded. “He said he wanted to have his favorite food so he had all his strength to hug you really tight when he saw you.”

Will blushed, his eyes softening. He loved when Daddy made up silly stories to appeal to him when he was little.

“That’s silly, Daddy.”

“Perhaps, but he insisted.” Hannibal booped Mr. Bear’s nose.

Their eyes met before Will was moving forward and pressing his lips against Hannibal’s. Their first ever kiss. They’d kissed foreheads, over binkies, cheeks, but never had their lips touched until then.

“What was that for?” The side of Hannibal’s thumb caressed his cheek.

“You’re so good to me, Hannibal,” Big Will said.

Hannibal pressed his own kiss against Will’s lips before resting their foreheads together. “I’ll always be here for you whenever you need this. Any time. Day or night. You’re not just my patient anymore, Will. You’re my friend. My love. Okay?”

Will nodded, his bottom lip trembling.

“I love this as much as you do,” Hannibal said. “It’s not a burden. Not a chore. It’s something I do for someone I love. Don’t forget that.”

“Are we…together?” Big Will said.

“Do you want to be?”

Will nodded, clinging to his bear held under his chin.

“Then we are,” Hannibal smiled, a big genuine sharp-toothed smile that only Will could draw out.

Will kissed him again. Then nuzzled together for a while before Will spoke.

“I don’t wanna go back in there today,” Will said gesturing to the hotel room. “Can you tell Jack that? Please. I need the weekend.”

Hannibal nodded. “I’ll give him my professional opinion.”

“Thank you,” Will sighed with relief.

“You want to spend the weekend being little with Daddy, honey?” He caressed Will’s face with the back of his hand.

Will nodded. “Yes, please. But what about my dogs?”

“We can call your neighbor.” Will lived in the middle of nowhere, his closest neighbor was a mile and a half away. Whenever he worked late or couldn’t make it home he would always call Mr. Roberts to help him feed, water, and let out his seven dogs. Will compensated him once a month with a big bottle of his favorite import whiskey.

Will smiled. A whole weekend with Daddy. He was so excited.

 

Chapter Text

Will rode back to Daddy’s house in the backseat, clinging to Mr. Bear and singing along to the CD of Disney songs Hannibal had put on for him.

Five songs had played and Will knew every word to them all. “Under The Sea” from The Little Mermaid came on, one of Will’s favorites. He gasped and began singing along to it in his delicate Little voice looking out the window at the passing fields and buildings.

Halfway through the song Will stopped singing.

“Daddy why do I have to sit in the back seat all the time? Why I can’t I sit up by you?”

“You’re far too little to sit in the front, honey. It’s for your safety,” Hannibal explained softly. “Plus if you’re in the backseat I can keep my eye on you in the rear view and make sure you’re being good.”

Will nodded. Daddy knew best. He continued singing a couple of lines before stopping again.

“Daddy can we please stop and get ice cream?”

“I love your manners,” Hannibal said. “Thank you for saying ‘please’, honey. But no, we cannot. It would spoil your supper.”

“But, Daddy…”

“No buts, young man,” Hannibal looked in the mirror and saw Will was resting his head on the back of the seat and his face held a steely pout.

“If you eat all your vegetables with supper you can have some of Daddy’s homemade vanilla frozen yogurt. How does that sound?”

Will nodded, still pouting. “Okay,” his voice was small and defeated, he sighed dramatically. He really wanted Daddy to take him for ice cream and hold his hand in public but his plan would do just fine, he supposed.

“Are you going to be fussy today, Will?” Hannibal’s voice was stern but still loving.

Will shook his head.

“Will?”

Will ignored him, continuing to stare out the window with a pout on his face. The music continued playing and he was silently still enjoying it when Hannibal turned off the radio.

“Daddy no, why’d you turn off my music?” He whined.

“You were ignoring me. “

“I’m sorry, please…Daddy please turn my music back on? We have a long way before we get home and I’ll be bored!”

“Are you going to be a fussy little boy today? Or are you going to be a good boy who listens to Daddy and his rules?”

“I’m a good boy, Daddy. I’ll be a good boy. Just please put my music back on?”

“It’s about ten minutes until we get home, Will. Just sit there and think about how rude you just were.”

“No,” Will whined. “Ten minutes is such a long time. I wanna hear Ariel and Sebastian!” His eyes began to water.

“Ten minutes, Will,” Hannibal said. “And then when we get home we’ll play and make supper together. You love helping Daddy in the kitchen, don’t you?”

Will nodded and sulked back against the seat. A minute passed before he got unbearably bored. He got an idea. Something that would get him some attention and create some entertainment.

Will took Mr. Bear and held his paw, making his Bear hit the top of Hannibal’s head. A soft thump of beans inside of Mr. Bear’s hand making a sound.

“Mr. Bear! What did you do that for? Why did you hit Daddy?”

Of course the soft stuffed paw hadn’t hurt Hannibal but the act of Will’s defiance had to be dealt with. Little Will frequently did such things when he was subconsciously craving punishment. Hannibal would give him just what he wanted.

“Will,” Hannibal’s voice has lost it’s kindness, Will’s body jolted from the harshness in his Daddy’s voice.

“I don’t know why he did that, Daddy. I’m sorry! He told me he didn’t like you turning off our music but he knows better, I’ll give him a spanking Daddy don’t you worry,” Will moved Mr. Bear over his lap and spanked the stuffed toy’s bottom. “Bad Mr. Bear! We don’t hit Daddy! See Daddy? It’s okay now.” He smiled.

Hannibal wasn’t amused.

Will seeing Hannibal’s expression caused him to start to cry. “I’m sorry.”

“You will be.”

•••

When they got home Hannibal opened the car door for his boy and told him with a firm voice to go to the front door, he made him walk in front of him, not holding his hand. Will cuddled his bear and walked tentatively to the door. “I’m sorry, Daddy,” he whimpered muffling his voice with Mr. Bear that he held tight.

He was still in his adult work clothes, cuddling his toy and wetting it’s fur with his tears.

Hannibal came behind and unlocked the front door and opened it, holding out his hand. “Give me Mr. Bear.”

“No,” Will whined, turning his body and clutching his toy even tighter.

“You need a time out and you know toys aren’t allowed in time out. Hand him over.”

“Please,” Will cried.

Will and Hannibal had established a safe word months ago when the age play first started. The fact that Will wasn’t safe-wording meant he was enjoying the play. The fight was part of the fun.

Hannibal corned Will against the brick wall of his outdoor entryway. He stroked Will’s cheeks lovingly. “Honey? You were naughty in the car weren’t you? You and I both know Mr. Bear didn’t hit me, you made him do that. Right?”

Will hesitated before nodding, nuzzling his face in his bear’s fur to dry his face of tears.

“Mr. Bear can’t move on his own. Right?”

Will nodded again.

“So give him to me for ten minutes. I’ll make sure to take good care of him. And when you’re finished with your time out you can join me in the kitchen and be Daddy’s little helper. How does that sound?”

Will’s hands around Mr. Bear went lax as he handed his stuffed toy to Hannibal. “Please be careful with him, Daddy. Don’t let him get near the ‘lender.”

“The blender?”

Will nodded. Little Will was scared of the blender in Daddy’s kitchen. He always stood behind Daddy when he pressed the button.

“I won’t, honey,” Hannibal assured him kissing his forehead. “I’ll sit him in his high chair.” Hannibal had built Mr. Bear his own chair for Will’s birthday but he rarely used it, always preferring to hold his toy during meals.

“Thank you,” Will wiped the rest of his tears with his long denim sleeve.

“Go get on the naughty step. Ten minutes. I’ll call for you when you’re done.”

•••

Will sat on the bottom step of the stairs twiddling his thumbs and chewing his nails, lost in thought about what the weekend would hold for him. His thoughts were all Little and about Little things. He didn’t need to think about work or grown up things for three whole days. He was so happy. Would Daddy hold him every night at bed time or would he have to sleep in his nursery? Would he wear diapers all weekend or would Daddy let him wear his big boy pants? Would Daddy play games with him and would he give him a bath? He loved when Daddy gave him a bath with foamy bubbles but he hated hated that Mr. Bear wasn’t allowed in the bathtub.

Ten minutes passed and Hannibal was calling for him.

“Will, your time is up, baby.”

Will stood and walked into the kitchen and immediately found Mr. Bear sitting in his little wooden high chair facing Daddy at the stove.

He crossed the room and pulled Mr. Bear into his arms again.

“What do we say?” Hannibal said.

“I’m sorry I was bad, Daddy. Please forgive me?”

Hannibal kissed the tip of Will’s nose causing him to giggle and wipe the kiss away. “I forgive you, precious. Do you want to stir the mac & cheese?”

Will nodded enthusiastically.

 

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Mr. Bear

Chapter Text

“Such a good boy,” Hannibal praised Will taking up his empty smiling monkey plate and moving it to the sink to wash up. “You ate all of your broccoli. I’m so proud of you.”

Hannibal knew Little Will hated broccoli and the only way he could get it down was by mixing it with mac & cheese and he had done just that. “And all your ham too? Wow!”

Will sat beaming.

“I did good, Daddy?”

“You did very well,” Hannibal said, running the plate under the sink to rinse. “Do you want some frozen yogurt?”

Will nodded, a big smile plastered on his stubbled face. “Can I have star-berries in it?”

“Strawberries?”

“Yes, please can I can please?” He bounced in his seat.

“Since you asked so politely, of course you may,” Hannibal smiled warmly. Will loved that smile, it made his toes warm.

“Daddy when can I change out of these clothes?” Will shifted uncomfortably in his seat, still in his Adult work things. He grimaced.

Hannibal knew that Will had a hard time staying in Little Space if he was still in his Big clothes. “After you have your yogurt Daddy will take you upstairs and we can pick out an outfit together, how does that sound?” He began spooning his homemade vanilla frozen yogurt into a Toy Story bowl.

Will nodded. “That sounds fun. Can I wear whatever I want?”

“Within reason,” Hannibal chuckled. “We wouldn’t want a repeat of last time.” The last time Hannibal allowed Will to dress himself he wore pajama pants under a pair of jean shorts, a tank top, arm floaties, and a pair of underwear on his head. It took five minutes for Hannibal to chase him down and catch him before he could run outside like that.

Hannibal set down the bowl in front of Will and handed him a green plastic spoon.

“You’re not having any, Daddy?” He tentatively accepted the spoon looking up at Hannibal.

“I might have some later,” he smiled, ruffling Will’s curls on the top of his head. “This kitchen is a mess. By the time you’re finished with that the kitchen will be all clean and I can help you get dressed.”

Will nodded and began to eat his dessert. Hannibal had busied himself with the dishes.

“Yummy star-berries, Daddy!”

“They’re healthy for you too, honey,” Hannibal said. “Great for growing boys.”

Will took a look over at Mr. Bear who was sat in the wooden high chair next to him at the table. Daddy had insisted Mr. Bear sit in the high chair during meals from then on.

“Daddy, Mr. Bear wants some yogurt.”

“Honey, you know the rule. Mr. Bear doesn’t get real people food, he’ll get messy.”

“But Daddy he’s sad,” Will pouted staring at Mr. Bear’s black bead eyes.

Hannibal sighed. “Can you give him a spoon of yogurt without getting his fur dirty, honey?”

“I think so.”

“Go ahead, then,” Hannibal said. “But if you get him dirty and sticky he’s gunna stay like that all weekend.”

Will smiled. “Don’t be sad, Mr. Bear, I’ll feed you some.” Will carefully spooned up a dollop of frozen yogurt and brought it to Mr. Bear’s mouth hovering a tiny bit in front of his mouth and pretending he was eating it. “Mmm…Yum yum yum!” Will squeaked, pretending he was Mr. Bear giving him a voice.

“Good huh?” Will said pulling the spoon away. “My Daddy made it all by himself!”

Hannibal had watched the entire scene, smiling. His boy was so precious.

After he was finished cleaning the kitchen and washing Will’s yogurt bowl he offered his hand to his boy to hold going up the stairs. Will gathered Mr. Bear into his arms and stood on his own. “I can go up the stairs by myself, Daddy. I’m not that little today.”

“Okay,” Hannibal said rubbing his palm along the top of Will’s back. “Show me how big boys go up the stairs.”

Will walked up holding the rail in one hand and Mr. Bear in the other. Hannibal overheard Will talking to his toy as he went. Soft mumblings about how he was a big boy who could go up the stairs on his own and about how he was going to dress himself soon and wasn’t Mr. Bear proud of him?

At the top of the stairs they headed to Little Will’s room. A room Hannibal had renovated months ago into a play paradise for his little boy. A big bed with collapsible crib rails took up a lot of space the middle of the room. There was a dollhouse in the corner and a bunch of toys and a train set and a chest of dress-up clothes. There was also a closet full of Little clothes with drawers inside full of diapers and back up binkies and what Will called his “big boy underwear” which were brief styled underpants big enough to fit Will’s adult body with childish designs on them such as Disney characters and cartoons.

Will placed Mr. Bear on his bed and headed for his closet. “Daddy can I wear my briefs today or do I have to wear my diaper?”

“You can wear whatever you feel like, lamb.” Hannibal said sitting on the bed next to Mr. Bear. He always gave Will a choice of how Little he wanted to be. But at nighttime Will always had to wear his diaper, that was a rule. It was barely six in the evening and Little Will hadn’t had his nightly bath so there was no need for him to be diapered just yet.

“Okay!” Will began to undress with the closet door open. He shed his work clothes, black jeans and a long sleeved denim shirt, boxers and boots and grabbed some of his Little Mermaid underwear, sliding them up his legs.

Hannibal watched as Will dressed himself and was very impressed by how well he did when he stepped out wearing a pair of navy-blue shorts and a red t-shirt with a baseball and bat on it. “Did I do good Daddy?” He smiled.

Hannibal rose and went to kiss Will’s forehead. “I couldn’t have done any better myself. Now what would you like to do tonight?”

Will kicked at the ground with his socked feet, his brow drawn in thought. “Can we watch a movie?”

“I would prefer we did something that stimulates your mind before you get too sleepy, honey,” he pet the sides of Will’s face. “What about we color and create some art. Then we can wind down with a movie before your bath? How does that sound?”

Will nodded. “Can you help me color?”

Hannibal smiled. “Of course.”

“Will you draw something for me? And I’ll draw something for you? And then we can trade!” Will’s eyes sparkled.

Hannibal chuckled. “If that’s what you want.”

“Let’s go!” Will ran out the door.

“Hold the rail!” Hannibal called after him as he heard Will’s feet pounding softly down the stairs. He grabbed Mr. Bear before heading after him, knowing Little Will couldn’t color without his very best friend.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Six Months Prior [Part 1]


“I wake up in a cold sweat nearly every night,” Will said, lounging back against the chair opposite Hannibal. They were in Hannibal’s office where he took his patients, Will being one of them. “It’s really beginning to take a toll on me.” He sighed deeply, pressing at his sinuses. “I can’t sleep. Can barely eat…every time I look at my plate I see…carnage.”

Hannibal had been treating Will for a month at that point. The walls they’d both built were just beginning to crumble and they were starting to look past their professional relationship when it came to the FBI into something akin to friendship.

Will started off hating the idea of therapy and gradually became comfortable with Hannibal, speaking with him like he would a true friend instead of a paid colleague. Will did a great job at forgetting that his insurance was paying for Hannibal’s time and spoke freely, unafraid of judgment.

“Perhaps you should take some time off?” Hannibal said. “You need some time to think, get yourself back in the appropriate mind-space for work?”

“I can’t do that,” Will shook his head. “I have a responsibility. A…gift, whatever you want to call it. I shy away from it and people suffer. People die.”

Hannibal sat forward, his elbows on his knees. “Will, would you be open to a form of therapy I think you would benefit greatly from?”

Will’s eyebrows drew together. “What form of therapy?” He chuckled. He’d just gotten used to talking about his feelings. Bringing up any other form of therapy made him nervous. He was very hesitant to accept help.

“You would need to have an open mind. A very open mind.”

“Let’s not beat around the bush, Dr. Lecter.”

“Are you familiar with age play?”

Will could guess what it was but he wasn’t positive of what Hannibal was referring to. He shook his head.

“There are many different forms of it, but the form I’m suggesting is more a self soothing technique used for meditative purposes. It’s a way of adopting your inner child, finding him again. Back to the days before responsibility. Before stress. Before adult worry of any sort.”

Will let out an airy chuckle. “You think me pretending to be a child will help me forget what I do for a living?”

Hannibal hesitated before answering. “I’m not saying it will help you forget. But it will quiet the demons for a while giving your mind time to patch itself back together again between crime scenes. Between the horrors plaguing you. Perhaps it can silence the nightmares?”

A long silence expanded across the room. Hannibal was just opening his mouth to say something else to break it when Will spoke.

“Have you suggested this therapy before? Or am I the first?”

“You’re the first. I have a few friends in my psychiatric circle who have told me at length about their success with patients who have adopted the lifestyle. It completely changed their lives. I’m not telling you to make it a part of your every day routine but I am suggesting you try it out…in a controlled environment. I would like the last fifteen minutes of our next session to focus on it, if you would be open to that.”

“What are you going to have me do?”

Hannibal smiled warmly. “You’ll see.”

•••

Their next session started off tense. Will had spent all day at a specifically horrific crime scene and was shaken to his core over it. He sat in his chair wringing his hands, sweat beginning to bead on his forehead as he reiterated what he’d been force to look at for the past few hours.

“If things like this bother you so much, Will, I’m sorry, I don’t care what gifts you possess it’s perhaps not wise to be in this business if it affects you so.”

“You hear from agents all the time that the first couple years in the field are brutal. That’s why we all need therapy. I’m hoping it will get better. Jack looks at this stuff now and doesn’t bat an eye.”

“Jack doesn’t have your level of empathy. None of them do.”

“It’ll get better,” Will nodded, talking to himself more than to Hannibal. As if he were trying to convince himself of it.

Hannibal’s alarm on his watch went off signaling the last fifteen minutes of the session.

“Do you remember what we spoke about last session, Will?” Hannibal said getting up to walk to his desk to retrieve some things.

Will stared after him. “The age play thing? I’m not sure I want to go through with it. It sounds embarrassing.” He scoffed. “I don’t think it will help me.”

“Please do give it a try,” Hannibal said. “You won’t know until you try. For all you know this could be your miracle cure. Please go lay on the chaise longue. I’m going to turn out the lights.”

Will got up with a huff and went to lay on the long flat sofa in the center of the room. Hannibal walked across and shut the big thick curtains in front of his windows completely blacking the room out from the street lights outside. Will jolted when he heard Hannibal close to him, not being able to gauge how far away he was from the pitch blackness of the room.

“Will?” Hannibal’s voice was soft. It sent a shiver down his spine and his breath deepened.

“Yeah?”

“I have a couple things here I want you to use for this. You won’t want to, but please just try.”

Will nodded before remembering Hannibal couldn’t see him either. “Okay.”

Hannibal put something small, hard, and plastic into his hand. The end was rubbery and soft. Will immediately realized what it was.

“I’m not putting this in my mouth,” he held up the binkie.

“Fifteen minutes,” Hannibal said. “It’ll help soothe you. The sucking motion will focus your mind on keeping it in your mouth so you’re not forced to think of the horrors. It’s okay,” Hannibal said softly. “Go ahead. Put it in your mouth.”

Will hesitantly slid the binkie between his lips. It fit perfectly. Hannibal must’ve bought it especially online for him. An adult binkie for an adult mouth.

“Good,” Hannibal cooed. Will was happy Hannibal couldn’t see him smile around his binkie, loving the praise. “Now here’s your new best friend,” Hannibal passed something soft into his arms. Will’s fingers ghosted over it’s face in the dark. He realized it was a teddy bear. He squeezed it tight.

“I’m going to leave you alone for a while,” Hannibal said. “I want you to lay like that with your dummy and your bear and focus on being little. No thoughts of what happened today. Just focus on regressing. Okay?”

Will heard Hannibal’s voice trickle away the farther away he walked. Before Hannibal opened the door and left he turned on a CD player that played soft classical instrumental lullabies. Will saw the sliver of light as Hannibal opened the door and left before rolling over cuddling his bear and focusing on sucking on his binkie.

Just as they did whenever Will closed his eyes he saw death, twisted and disturbing scenes of dead bodies and blood splatters. He began sucking fiercely on the binkie, and slowly the horrors dissipated. His mind cleared and all he heard was the soft music and all he saw in his head were sweet things. Fluffy lambs, kittens, his favorite train set when he was just a boy. He squeezed his new teddy bear to his chest, inhaling it’s smell. It smelled of lavender. Had Hannibal sprayed it with the essential oil before gifting it to him, knowing lavender lowers stress levels? He started to drift into a peaceful sleep and was almost there when the fifteen minutes were up and Hannibal was back flicking on the overhead light.

Will groaned unhappily, his eyes squeezing tighter from the sudden brightness. He yanked the binkie from his mouth and sat up in one quick movement as if to hide what he was just doing, although Hannibal had been the catalyst. 

Hannibal took a seat in his chair. Will stared at him. He had the sudden urge to cross the room and curl into his lap and have Hannibal hold him but he squashed that fantasy away quickly.

“How was that?”

The lullaby music continued as they spoke.

“It…I don’t know…” Will hated to admit that he had really enjoyed it. He looked down at the teddy bear in his arms. It was cuter than he’d imagined it looked like in the dark. He traced the bear’s smooth black eyes with the tip of his finger.

“Don’t be embarrassed, Will,” Hannibal said. “It’s only natural to want to revert back to the time when…”

“I liked it…” Will interrupted. “I did.”

“But you feel guilty?”

Will nodded.

“Whatever for?”

“It’s...wrong. I’m a grown man. I shouldn’t be doing this.”

“Who says you shouldn’t? Society?”

Will nodded.

“Tell you what,” Hannibal sat forward. “I bought those things for you. You can take them home, experiment with them on your own time. We never have to speak of it again. Unless or until you want to. Deal?”

Will nodded, clutching his new teddy and binkie in his hands.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Months Prior [Part 2/3]

 

As soon as Will got home that evening he shoved his new bear and binkie into his sock drawer to forget about them. He’d taken them home at first with the notion that he would try to use them but half way home he decided against it. He wanted nothing to do with the Little lifestyle. It was humiliating and degrading.

He cooked dinner alone, barely picking at his food, and fed his seven dogs afterward settling down by the fireplace with a book for an hour before turning in for bed. The second his head hit the pillow the horrific images from that day and days previous began bombarding his mind. Tried as he might he couldn’t silence them. It would be yet another sleepless night. He considered getting the binkie and bear back out but he thought better of it, tossing and turning. Eventually he fell asleep.

A couple hours later Will awoke in another cold sweat, hyperventilating, his chest heaving and his clothes damp and sticking to him. He’d had yet another nightmare. He gathered some towels from the bathroom and laid them down on his bed to sleep on. Before he got between the towels he walked over to his drawer. He shifted a few things around until he found the binkie and the stuffed bear with the kind eyes. He had hidden them under multiple pairs of shirts and socks. Nobody would know if he used them would they? His dogs would be the only things to see him and they couldn’t talk. Nobody had to know. Right? He brought the items to bed and shed his sweat soaked shirt before climbing between two large towels used to soak the sweat off his body.

He closed his eyes and slowly entered the dummy into his mouth. He sucked softly, clinging the bear close to his chest and petting it’s fur on the top of it’s head with his palm. He fell asleep in under a minute and woke up the next morning rested and without waking back up once.

•••

Over the next few weeks Will learned to self soothe with his new binkie and bear, whom he’d secretly named Mr. Bear. Every night after work he couldn’t wait to get home, turn out the lights, and cuddle with his bear and suck on his dummy. Sometimes he would turn in early just to get extra time with a clear mind and with his new friend.

At first, Will would only think the things he wanted to say but slowly he started speaking aloud at home in his newly discovered childish voice.

“Mr. Bear, I’m home!” Will would say excitedly running to his bed to hold his stuffed buddy. “Would you like to watch me cook dinner?” He made Mr. Bear nod his head. He would smile and hold his toy to his chest with a soft giggle.

Will’s sleeping schedule improved and he gained weight being able to eat properly again. Every aspect of his life had gotten better. He still saw Hannibal for therapy bi-weekly but he didn’t bring up the age play during their meetings for nearly a month.

Will was embarrassed to share that he was indeed continuing the therapy alone, although he knew deep down if there was one person on the planet who would never judge him, it was Hannibal.

“May I comment on the fact that you seem much more put together than you were a few weeks ago?” Hannibal smiled softly.

Will nodded in agreement. “I feel more put together.” He began picking at the arm of the chair he sat in before stopping the nervous gesture, forcing his palm to lie flat against it.

“Any nightmares of late?”

Will shook his head. The way Hannibal was looking at him made him inwardly panic. Could he tell? Did he know?

“What an improvement,” Hannibal sat forward with another smile. “That’s marvelous! Any shift in your every day routine that could have caused this change?”

He knew.

“I didn’t want to talk about it.”

“You don’t have to, Will. It’s okay. I didn’t know if it was something else…”

“No I…I didn’t. But I think I’m ready to.”

“At your discretion, then.”

Will began to fidget, his hands both falling into his lap as he began popping his knuckles.

“Please don’t…do that,” Hannibal said.

Will looked up through his long lashes. “Do what?”

Hannibal nodded his head toward Will’s hands. “It’s a…pet peeve of mine.”

“Oh I’m sorry,” Will forced his palms back on the arms of the chair.

“Quite alright. You didn’t know.” He smiled.

“I sleep with my binkie and my bear every night,” Will said, his voice so low Hannibal could barely hear him.

“And you haven’t had a nightmare since?”

Will shook his head, an airy laugh.

“That’s fantastic, Will. Is it only at nighttime you interact with the objects?”

Will shook his head. “No. I mean at first, yeah. But…and I trust you enough to tell you this, mostly because you legally can’t tell anyone in your position. I started this thing where I’ll talk like a child and I don’t know where it’s coming from. Or why. I just know that…soothes me? Is that weird?”

Hannibal shook his head. “Not at all. In fact it’s common. Very common.”

Will exhaled, relieved.

“I hope you don’t mind but I bought you a few more things that might help. If you’d like to take them home to use.” Hannibal got up and crossed the room opening his desk to retrieve a small bag full of items. Will kept his eye on him the entire time as he walked over and handed it to him.

He accepted it and opened the bag, curious of what it was Hannibal had bought him.

Inside the bag were coloring books, crayons, a copy of the lullaby CD he’d first played for him, and a blue and orange sippy cup.

He thought he would be humiliated and wanting to throw the bag from his lap with a proud huff but instead his chest was bursting with emotions. He loved his gifts. He stood from his seat and took Hannibal by surprised when he pulled him in for a big hug. Hannibal squeezed him in return, rubbing his back.

“Thank you,” Will whispered.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Six Months Prior [3/3]


“What do you say, Mr. Bear? Should we color the duckies top hat green or pink?” Will was sat at his dining table with his new coloring book, Mr. Bear sat firmly in his lap. It was Saturday morning and he’d gotten to sleep in, treating himself to some cereal and coloring time.

He hadn’t meant to but he’d spilled milk everywhere trying to make his cereal. “Oh no!” It got Will’s dogs attention, all crowding around his feet to lick at the spilled milk pouring off the side of the counter. Being in Little space made Will’s muscles relax to the point that he had difficulty with medial tasks such as pouring the heavy milk jug.

Will held Mr. Bear to his ear and pretended to listen. “Pink? Good choice Mr. Bear, I agree. Pink is such a bright and dapper color.”

Will didn’t have to go work that day so he spent all of it in Little space, coloring and playing with Mr. Bear, taking a post lunch nap with his binkie and lullaby CD on repeat. It was the best day he’d had in a very long time.

Before supper Will sat down at his computer, keen on looking up websites and videos and blogs made by people who had ingratiated themselves into the Little lifestyle. He was hoping to learn some tricks and ideas. He searched for a while making lists of things that interested him such as watching childish films, taking bubble baths with toys, and pre-school level workbooks.

He stopped when he got to a section titled “Caregiver, or Daddy/Mommy.” Will’s eyebrows drew together at that sentence.

Did he need to have a caregiver to be in Little space? Surely not. He thought back to pouring his milk at breakfast and how he didn’t do such a great job at it. Maybe some things would be easier with a caregiver. He read on.

Caregivers, Daddies, or Mommies tasks ;

1. Bathe their Little
2. Give their Little cuddles
3. If in diapers, change their Little

Will swallowed hard at that sentence. He hadn’t thought about diapers. No way would be ever allow someone to diaper him. His cheeks blushed a deep red. He continued reading.

4. Tell their Little they’re loved
5. Feed their Little
6. Watch over their Little and make sure they don’t get into shenanigans
7. If needed, punish their Little
8. After punishment always make sure their Little feels that they’re loved

Will’s chest began to ache. He suddenly wanted a caregiver. He wanted one more than anything. But who could he trust? Nobody. Nobody was trustworthy enough for this deep dark secret. Except…no way.

Hannibal was handsome and intelligent and Will didn’t see him that way. But, he was the only one who knew that Will did any of this…plus he was the reason why he’d started being Little… He thought back to the first time he regressed in Hannibal’s office, how immediately after it was over he wanted nothing more than to go to Hannibal and have him hold him.

Plus Hannibal would never want to be his caregiver…Right? He was professional and poised, surely he wouldn’t want to…

He remembered the look on Hannibal’s face as he gifted him the coloring books and everything else. He’d looked down at him so warmly and so invitingly. Surely it was nothing but a friendly smile from a Doctor to their Patient.

After supper lying in bed Will couldn’t help his thoughts from drifting to Hannibal. He imagined him cuddled up against him, holding him, brushing the hair back from his sweaty face and kissing him there on his temple. He imagined Hannibal telling him how he was a good boy and he was proud of him for letting his guard down and accepting his help with the therapy. Will clutched Mr. Bear tight and sucked on his dummy nice and deep, fantasizing Dr. Lecter was his caregiver…his…

His mind delved further in his dream that night. He dreamt Dr. Lecter had him on his back, holding Mr. Bear in his hand and having the stuffie kiss his face. Will giggled and pushed the toy away looking up in Hannibal’s eyes. Will opened his arms and made grabby hands, wanting him close. Hannibal draped himself over Will’s body and hugged him tight. “Loving little boy aren’t you?” Hannibal cooed into his ear.

“Yes, Daddy,” he replied in his soft Little voice.

Hannibal moved him to the side so he could hug him tighter, a crinkling sound came from between their bodies.

Hannibal’s hand moved down and he felt his finger snake into his pants, his… Will looked down, he was wearing a diaper. “Still nice and dry,” Hannibal said. “No need for a changing just yet.” Will ducked his face into Hannibal’s neck and whined.

“There there, Little one,” Hannibal kissed the side of his head. “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.”

Will awoke with a start. He looked all around the room and he was alone. He had a dull ache in his chest.

He realized he didn’t have Mr. Bear in his arms and lifted his blanket, surely he was in his bed somewhere. When he couldn’t find him, Will sat up with a start, ripping his binkie from his mouth.

“Mr. Bear? Mr. Bear?” His voice got squeaky and soft. Tears were starting to accumulate in his eyes. “Where are you?” He got up and turned the light on and that’s when he saw it.

“No!” He cried running across the room to his dog Winston who had Mr. Bear in front of him on the floor. His arm had been torn off and his stuffing was littering the living room. He scooped Mr. Bear up and started to cry. “Mr. Bear!” He collapsed to the floor and his body wracked with sob as he held his best friend to his chest. Winston and all his other dogs circled around him to lick Will’s arms in apology. “I’m not mad at you,” Will assured them. “I know you just wanted to have a toy too. But this is my toy. My best friend. My….Hannibal gave him to me.”

Will looked at the clock and saw that it was two in the morning. He wasn’t thinking clearly when he dialed Hannibal’s number.

“Hello?” Hannibal’s voice was gruff and Will could tell he’d been asleep.

“Dr. Lecter?” Will squeaked trying his very hardest to put on a big boy voice but such was difficult when he was so deep in being Little at the time.

“Will?”

“It’s me, yeah.”

“Why are you calling so early? Is something wrong?”

“Can I…can I come over?”

“Did something happen?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, of course. Come over, I’ll put some tea on.”

At that hour with no traffic it would take a little over an hour to get to Hannibal’s house. Will had only been there once when he was invited for an exquisite dinner Hannibal had once cooked for he and Jack but he’d never been there alone. Especially not after such a dream.

Will buckled Mr. Bear into the back seat with his dismembered arm and stuffing. He was hoping Dr. Lecter would be able to fix him.

“It’s okay, Mr. Bear. Don’t cry! We’ll get you to Doctor Lecter’s soon and he’ll patch you up!”

Will shouldn’t have been driving when he was so Little but he had to. He focused really hard on the road, on a mission to make his toy all better again.

Will talked to Mr. Bear the entire hour of the drive making sure he felt loved and didn’t feel too scared. Upon reaching his destination he scooped up his toy and all his stuffing and arm and walked tentatively to the front door. What was Dr. Lecter expecting? That he was Big and wanted to talk about a nightmare he’d had, surely. What patients were allowed and invited to his house at such hours if at all… was he the only one?

“Will what’s…” Hannibal opened the door in a black night robe with cream white trim and pajama pants. He took in the sight of Will holding his broken bear.

The second Will saw Hannibal he began to cry. “Can you fix him?” He squeaked.

Hannibal could immediately tell that Will was Little and that he needed to tread all of this carefully. He’d never seen Will in a full regression. He got the overwhelming urge to care for the boy.

“Come in,” Hannibal beckoned him in and shut the door. “Let’s see what we have.” He took Mr. Bear and his parts from Will’s quivering hands. “What happened?”

“My doggy must’ve stolen him from my bed while I was sleeping. I must’ve not have been holding him tight enough,” Will’s hands covered his face and he began sobbing again.

Hannibal placed Mr. Bear on the little table by the front door and pulled Will in for a hug. He shushed him softly, petting his hair. “It’s okay. We’ll patch him up good as new, okay? None of this is your fault.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure, honey.”

The small term of endearment made Will’s heart flutter. Hannibal had never called him ‘honey’ before or anything close to it.

“Come on,” Hannibal gathered up the toy again. “Let’s go to my study. I have a needle and thread there.”

“Are you going to hurt him?” Will was very worried.

“No no not at all,” Hannibal assured him with a kind smile. “I’ll even give him a shot so he doesn’t feel a thing.”

Will nodded and followed after Hannibal to his study. Hannibal directed Will to sit in a chair he’d pulled up next to his desk so he could watch him work.

“Do you want to give him his shot, honey?” Hannibal cooed. There was that word again. He held up an empty syringe.

Will shook his head. “I’m afraid I’ll hurt him. You do it.”

Hannibal nodded. “Alright. Do you want to hold his paw. He might be a little scared of the needle.”

“Are you scared Mr. Bear?” Will asked, holding the paw of his toy’s hand that wasn’t detached. He shook his head. “Mr. Bear is very brave.”

Hannibal smiled. “Very good. Okay, Mr. Bear this may just sting for a second but it’ll make it so you don’t feel a thing.” It was endearing hearing Will had named his teddy.

He pressed the syringe needle into the toy’s tummy and back out again. “All done,” Hannibal cooed, rubbing the spot where he had given Mr. Bear his shot with the tip of his fingers. “Let’s give that a second shall we?” He opened his drawer and produced the needle and thread and strung it expertly. He stuffed the stuffing back into Mr. Bear and the detached arm and went to work sewing the arm back on while Will held his toy’s other hand giving him soft words of encouragement. “You’re doing so well, buddy! I’m so proud! The doctor is almost done! You’re a good boy, Mr. Bear.”

Hannibal clipped the end of the string. “All done.” He said. He’d done very well. He looked like new. Will pulled Mr. Bear into his arms, whole again.

“Thank you, Daddy.”

Hannibal stopped putting the string away and looked over at Will. “What did you call me?” His voice was soft, not angry or confused but inquisitive.

Will swallowed. “Daddy?” He cowered under Hannibal’s stare. “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have…”

“No no no,” Hannibal said. “It’s quite alright.” He let out an airy chuckle reaching his hand up to pet the side of Will’s face. “You want me to be your Daddy, baby?”

Will leant into Hannibal’s palm and nodded, their eyes meeting.

“Tell you what,” Hannibal said. “How about we keep Mr. Bear here so we don’t have to worry about your doggies getting him again. How does that sound?”

Will nodded. “That’s a good idea, Daddy.”

Hannibal’s chest tightened every time he heard Will say the word.

“And any time you want to be Little and you don’t just want to be at home alone and you need someone to care for you, you can come here. You’re always welcome. Okay?”

Will nodded, his cheeks blushing. “You mean it?”

Hannibal smiled. “Of course I mean it.” He kissed Will’s forehead causing the butterflies in his tummy to go crazy. He squeezed his bear tighter to his chest.

“We can discover all of this together, Will.” He addressed Big Will for a moment. “I’m honored you chose me to be your Daddy.” He pet Will’s cheeks with both hands while his eyes gleamed at him. “Come here,” He beckoned Will to sit on his lap.

Will got up and curled himself on Hannibal’s lap and rest his head against his chest. Hannibal cooed softly into his ear. “Daddy is going to take such good care of his baby boy.” 

Chapter Text

“What did you draw for me, Daddy?” Will said trying to peak over Hannibal’s arm hiding his paper from view.

“I’m almost finished, honey,” Hannibal said with a warm smile. “Why don’t you show me what you’ve drawn for me in the meantime?”

“Wanna show you at the same time!” Will bounced in his seat.

“No patience in those bones,” Hannibal shook his head with a smile continuing to sketch with his blue crayon.

“Give me a clue of what it is, just a little clue,” Will pouted, his chin meeting the table with a pout.

“William,” Hannibal stopped for a moment to look up. Will cowered under his gaze. “What did we talk about? Remember how Daddy told you he doesn’t like being pressured or rushed during creative projects? Remember that?”

Will nodded. “Yes, Daddy.”

“Don’t you want the best work I can possibly give you?”

Will nodded again.

“Don’t spoil your surprise. Sit there like a good patient boy and I’ll be finished soon. Busy yourself with your coloring book.”

Will grabbed his Pooh Bear coloring book and began coloring immediately on the first page he landed on. He giggled. “Daddy doesn’t piglet look funny being purple instead of pink?” He turned the book around to Hannibal to show him.

“Yes he does look funny,” Hannibal smiled before continuing his drawing. Two minutes later he was all done. “Okay, honey. Let’s trade drawings.”

Will grabbed at the paper Hannibal slid over to him with the hand that wasn’t holding Mr. Bear and flipped it over with excitement. Hannibal had drawn two three dimensional puzzle pieces connected together. They were made of wood, the fine lines for the photo realistic appearance were impossible to achieve with a crayon and yet Hannibal had done it. One of the puzzle pieces was blue while the other was teal. They fit into each other perfectly. At the bottom Hannibal had written in smooth calligraphy, “You complete me.”

Will’s heart caught in his throat and he was Big again for a split moment. He got the sudden urge to go to Hannibal and kiss him on the lips, drape himself over him and hold him until the sun came up. His Little self took back over.

“Oh, Daddy…” his voice was unbearably soft. “It’s…”

“Do you like it?” Hannibal smiled.

Will nodded, his voice coming out halfway between Big and Little. “I love it.”

“Come here, sweetheart,” Hannibal beckoned him. “Let’s look at what you’ve drawn for me together.”

Will got up leaving Mr. Bear in his seat to sit on Hannibal’s lap. Hannibal bounced his leg between Will’s knees as he held his boy’s waist. He flipped the paper over and gasped with overzealous excitement. Will giggled.

“What is this?” He cooed.

Will pointed at the picture. “That’s me and you holding hands and that’s Mr. Bear and that’s the star-berry from my yogurt and that’s a big heart around us and that’s a rainbow!”

“And at the bottom…you wrote that all by yourself?”

Will nodded proudly. At the bottom of the photo it said, “I love you Daddy!” in messy childlike handwriting.

“Wow…it’s beautiful.” Hannibal stared at the drawing. “I say we frame this and put it in your room.”

“Not in your office, Daddy?”

Hannibal thought for a moment before nodding. “Yeah we can put it in my office. Right on my desk. Would that make you happy, baby?”

Will nodded and smiled. Daddy was proud of him.

“We’ll do just that then.”

There was a pause.

“Hannibal…”

Hannibal turned quickly to consider Will. He only ever said his first name when he needed to break from Little space.

“Hmm?”

Will reached and picked up the drawing Hannibal had done for him. They looked at it together, Hannibal wrapping both arms around Will in the process. They looked at each other and Will was leaning down to claim Hannibal’s lips in their second ever real kiss.

The first time their lips had met it was just a soft lingering peck but this time Will opened his mouth accepting Hannibal’s tentative tongue. It didn’t last long but all the same it made Will squeeze his legs together just slightly. Desire curling in his belly. Will had never felt that way before, not with Hannibal, and he immediately blushed. Everything had been so innocent until that very moment.

“Sorry,” Hannibal said pulling back. “I shouldn’t have…”

Will shook his head, holding Hannibal’s cheek in his palm. A silent gesture that told him it was okay and to not be sorry about anything.

They looked into each other’s eyes before he was ducking his face into Hannibal’s neck and becoming Little again. Hannibal could tell by his breath. He rubbed Will’s back.

“You wanna watch a movie, honey?” Hannibal cooed. “Or are you ready for your bath?”

“Bath time,” Will whimpered. “Bath time, please.”

•••

“Cherry Blossom and Mint or Lavender and Vanilla bubbles?” Hannibal asked his boy who was still fully clothed and sat on the closed toilet lid clutching his teddy. The bath water was filling up in the tub behind him.

“Hum…You pick, Daddy!”

“Very well,” he kept the lavender and vanilla in his hand and put the other back under the sink. He poured some of the concoction into the filling tub and Will sat up further to see the bubbles forming.

“That’s a lot of bubbles!”

“It is!” Hannibal went to the closet to get the plastic box of Will’s bath toys. Will gasped excitedly.

“Oh! Daddy! Did you remember to buy batteries for my chugga chugga bath train?”

Hannibal frowned. “I’m sorry, lamb. Daddy forgot. I’ll buy some tomorrow, I promise. We can go to the store together and you can remind me. How’s that sound?”

Will went in public as a Little so rarely. It was difficult but a fun challenge to not draw attention. It was he and Daddy’s secret. Will loved that.

“Okay!”

Hannibal put the box down and knelt in front of him, kissing his forehead. “Such a good forgiving boy,” he stroked his cheeks. They got lost in each other’s eyes, Will leaning into Hannibal’s palm before Little Will was speaking up.

“Daddy! The bubbles are almost overflowing!”

“Oh shit,” Hannibal said moving to turn the water off.

“Oh shit!” Will repeated.

“William…” he looked down at Will, a stern look in his eyes. “You don’t use that language.”

“But you used it, Daddy!” Will giggled.

“Daddy is a grown up,” Hannibal explained, gesturing Will to stand so he could undress him for his bath. “You’re just a little boy.”

“That doesn’t seem fair,” Will said with a pout as Hannibal pulled down his pants and underwear in one swift movement and helped him step out of his socks. Hannibal took Mr. Bear from Will and placed him on the sink.

“Arms up,” he took Will’s shirt off. “Well that’s just how things are, honey. Some words are for big grown ups and they’re not supposed to be used by little ones like you.”

Will sighed softly. “Okay.”

“Get in the tub,” Hannibal cooed directing him with his palm on Will’s naked shoulder. “We have to get you nice and clean for bed time.”

Will held Hannibal’s hand as he got in, holding tight so he wouldn’t slip. “That’s it,” Hannibal said guiding him down. “Be careful.” Will’s bottom hit the porcelain of the tub. The water was warm and comforting and the smell of the lavender and vanilla was calming. Will moved his arms around playing in the chest high bubbles.

Hannibal poured the box of Will’s bath toys in and Will squealed with delight. He got onto his knees outside the tub to interact with his boy.

“Remember him, Daddy?” Will picked up the red power ranger that sprayed water.

“Oh I do,” Hannibal lowered the toy, reminiscing on the time Will was in an extra silly mood and kept spraying Hannibal in the face with it after he had continuously told him to stop, causing him to receive one hard spank for not listening.

“Daddy…”

“What is it, lamb?” Hannibal’s hands were ghosting along the top of water and the bubbles.

“I don’t much feel like playing with my bath toys today.”

“No? You sleepy?”

Will shook his head.

“Just wanna get clean and go cuddle with you.”

Hannibal nodded. “Okay,” he said with a smile, picking up the soft loofa and began rubbing Will’s chest with it. “You’ve had a long day, I understand.”

Will shifted in the tub and swallowed.

“Daddy?”

“Hmm?” Hannibal cooed.

“Can you clean a little lower?”

“Will…”

“Please?”

Hannibal and Will had never been sexual before, not in the slightest, and certainly not while Will was Little. Hannibal wasn’t sure if he was comfortable with that.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“Why not?” Will’s voice was Big. His hand and nails playing along Hannibal’s arm.

“Do you really want to take it there?”

Will nodded slowly. “Can we try? If we don’t like it, we don’t ever have to do it again. I’m just so…” he looked down and while he couldn’t see himself through the bubbles he knew he was hard and throbbing softly against his own groin in the water.

Hannibal could sense what he was saying. “Do you want to break? Or stay in it?”

“Will it freak you out if I stay in it?”

Hannibal thought for a moment before shaking his head. “Whatever you want.”

Will licked his lips. “Daddy please?” He whined. “Go lower?”

Hannibal sighed deeply slowly moving the loofa lower. “Are you a dirty boy tonight, baby?”

Will whimpered at Hannibal’s words. He nodded. “So dirty, Daddy.”

Hannibal let go of the loofa allowing it to float back to the surface, keeping his palm on Will’s stomach going further down, his nails tickling the skin as he went.

Will gasped and whined when Hannibal’s hand made even the slightest contact with his penis. “Daddy,” he whined. All of their intimate and soft touches over the past few months had lead up to this.

“Shh,” Hannibal’s hand circled around him tugging up ever so gently, just a ghost of his palm. Their eyes didn’t leave one another’s as his hand played on him.

“This is very naughty isn’t it?” Will sighed.

Hannibal nodded. “Such a naughty boy to wish to be touched by his Daddy like this. So naughty, baby.” He kissed Will’s forehead.

Hannibal’s hand was still barely touching him when his hips were bucking up and he was coming, finding Hannibal’s arm and clinging to it. Moaning out his orgasm twitching and whimpering.

“That’s it,” Hannibal cooed into his ear. “Get all that dirtiness out. Good boy. Good boy…” He ghosting his fingers along Will’s shaft.

Will’s breaths were shallow and slowly got deeper. His eyes remaining shut as he rode out his climax, continuing to cling to Hannibal, his nails digging into his flesh. Hannibal brought his hand out of the water to pet Will’s face.

“You okay?” Hannibal cooed.

Will nodded. “You?”

“Yeah…That was…”

“Yeah…it was.”

•••

Hannibal allowed Will some time to compose himself, ignoring the throbbing in his own pants before continuing cleaning Will up for bed.

“Head back, baby,” Hannibal directed washing the conditioner out of Will’s hair. “There we go. You’re going to have nice shiny soft hair.”

“Like you, Daddy?”

Hannibal laughed. “Yeah, like me.”

He helped Will out of the tub and dried him, wrapping a towel around his naked body and held his hand leading him to the bedroom.

“Wait!” Will squeaked running back to get Mr. Bear.

Once in the bedroom Hannibal diapered him up and dressed him in one of Will’s favorite night shirts, a long blue number reading ‘Daddy’s Boy’ in baby blue with the decal of a binkie underneath.

Hannibal changed into pajamas and they got under the covers together nuzzling and petting, Hannibal pressed up behind him. “Daddy’s where’s my binkie?”

Hannibal sat up cursing himself. Will has used it while coloring in the kitchen. “I forgot it downstairs. I’ll go get it.” He moved to get up.

“No,” Will whined holding onto Hannibal’s wrist. “Stay with me.”

“You need it to sleep, honey.”

Will brought Hannibal’s hand to his mouth and adjusted his fingers down before sliding Hannibal’s thumb in between his lips and sucking on it like he would on his binkie. Hannibal sighed and laid back down, his chest pressing against Will’s back.

“Is Daddy’s thumb your binkie tonight, honey?”

Will nodded, continuing to suckle, squeezing Mr. Bear against his chest. Hannibal felt a stirring in his chest and his groin but he ignored it. Will would always be the one to initiate anything, he decided. 

“Okay,” he kissed the side of Will’s forehead before laying his head on the pillow. “Goodnight my prince.” 

 

Chapter Text

Will had never felt more comfortable with anyone in his entire thirty-six years of life until Hannibal. Seven months of knowing one another, six months of playing as Little and Daddy, and now two days of being in an exclusive relationship. Not like Will or Hannibal had anyone else during that time anyway.

Over the past half year Hannibal and Will had fallen for one another through their play, innocent as it was. The cuddles, the trust, the secrets, the companionship, all lead to their relationship being the most secure and beautiful thing either had ever known.

Their relationship becoming sexual in nature was a surprise to both of them, sneaking up like Simba on Zazu when Mufasa had taught him how to play hunt.

The next morning over breakfast Will broke so he and Hannibal could discuss their dynamic. The happenings of the night before still fresh in their minds.

“About last night…I enjoyed it a lot.”

“As did I,” Hannibal took a deep swig of his espresso.

“I’m not sure I want it very often while in Little space but on occasion would be nice. I felt so secure with you. Loved.”

Hannibal nodded.

“I think we should establish a base of rules.”

Will nodded, taking the top off of his sippy cup to drink his orange juice from a more adult cup.

“Like what? What do you have in mind?”

“I think there shouldn’t be any penetration. Not when you’re Little. Not for a while. Just soft touches. For both of us. Maybe some teasing…

Will’s heart began pounding in his chest at the words and Hannibal’s soft voice speaking them.

“I think that’s wise. Also, if you want to…” Will reached out to hold the top of Hannibal’s hand on the table and stroke the skin with his thumb. “I would love to explore our sexual…chemistry, if you want to call it that…while I’m Big. Explore everything. All guards down?” Will looked up at Hannibal through his lashes.

Hannibal exhaled, staring at Will’s lips. He nodded. “After this weekend. We can start that.”

Will imagined all the things Hannibal could teach him when he was Big. All the filthy things they could do together. He loved the man and he wanted to know him, inside and out.

Chapter Text

 

“But I don’t wanna wear big boy clothes to the store!” Will pouted. He had flung himself onto the bed in his room dramatically when Hannibal told him they were going out but Will couldn’t wear his diaper or dress in one of his Little shirts with the cute designs.

“You don’t have to wear big boy clothes, honey,” Hannibal said. “You just have to wear clothes that are…not baby clothes.”

“Well I don’t want to go then,” Will huffed, turned away from Hannibal with his arms crossed over his chest. “Leave me at home.”

“I can’t leave you at home alone. You’re far too little for that…”

“Mr. Bear can watch me.”

“No he can’t. Now you get your bratty bottom out of this bed and put on the clothes I give you or I’m taking you over my knee.”

Will whined ducking his face into the mattress.

“Will. I’m going to give you to the count of five. If you’re not up you’re not going to like what happens. Five. Four. Three. Two.”

Will hopped up, still sitting on the bed, a pout still adorning his face.

“I’m mad at you, Daddy.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re mean!” Will was starting to tear up.

“I’m mean? You’re being brat.”

“Maybe so but you’re still mean.” His voice came out hoarse at the end, looking away. He began to cry. “I don’t w-wanna get dressed in b-big clothes. I want to be Little all weekend! You promised!”

Hannibal sighed, reaching out to cup Will’s face but he moved away. His hand dropped.

“Baby boy, listen to me. Are you listening?”

Will turned his head even further away from Hannibal.

“You can be Little, I never said you couldn’t be.” Hannibal got an idea. “All I want is for us to play a game. Do you wanna dress up in some of Daddy’s clothes?”

“D-daddy’s clothes?” Will wiped his eye with his sleeve.

“Yeah,” Hannibal cooed. “Some of my comfortable ones like one of my t-shirts and a pair of my relaxation slacks? Hmm?” He reached forward to try again succeeding in petting Will’s face this time. “You can wear them and pretend to be like Daddy for a while. Wouldn’t that be a silly game?” Hannibal smiled.

Will nodded. “That sounds like fun.”

“Let me go get you the clothes and you can put them on okay, sugar bug?”

Will nodded, a blush starting on his cheeks. That was a cute nickname. “Okay.”

Hannibal was back in a flash holding a small pile of his clothes. Will had busied himself with his dollhouse before he got back. “Daddy look!”

“Hmm?”

“Mr. Bear is scaring Barbie through her kitchen window! Rawr!”

Hannibal smiled. “Come get dressed.”

Will allowed Daddy to dress him in his clothes, a grey v-neck cashmere t-shirt, a pair of navy blue briefs, and a pair of ironed black slacks.

“Daddy,” Will pouted when the outfit was on looking down at himself. “I feel too Big in this.”

“Well you’re supposed to be dressed like Daddy, remember? It’s dress-up! Now what is something Daddy would say?”

Will thought for a second. “I love you, lamb!” He beamed, rocking back and forth on his heels.

Hannibal smiled, cupping Will’s cheeks. “That’s right! Look at you! You’re a carbon copy of me!”

Will blushed again, his cheeks warming Hannibal’s hands. They looked into each other’s eyes.

“Kisses, Daddy?” He squeaked.

Hannibal presses his lips against Will’s nose causing him to giggle. That wasn’t what he’d wanted but it would do. Daddy never seemed to want to kiss his lips while Will was in Little space. Will thought this was okay. Once he was Big again for a while they could play tongue kisses.

“Now you need some shoes. You can wear your Little shoes if you want, honey. Go pick some out.”

Will ran into his closet and found a pair of Batman shoes. He brought them back to the bed and slid them onto his socked feet and stared down at the laces.

“Can you tie my shoes, please?” Will lifted his foot.

“You know how to tie your shoes, William. Daddy taught you a couple weeks ago.”

“Don’t remember,” Will shook his head.

Hannibal sighed crouching down. He pat his thigh signaling Will to put his foot there. He grabbed the yellow laces. “Now remember baby you need to tie and then make bunny ears and wrap them and tie them too. And…all done. Do you want to try the other one?”

Will shook his head.

Hannibal chuckled. “Very well.” He tied Will’s other shoe for him. “Let’s go.”

•••

When Hannibal had told Will he needed to leave Mr. Bear in the car while they went into the store he was waiting for his boy to throw a tantrum but he didn’t. Agreeing with Daddy that Mr. Bear looked tired and was in need of a nap and could get one in the car while waiting for them to finish shopping.

“Good boy, cover him with his blanket.”

“Have a good nap, buddy!” Will kissed Mr. Bear’s nose. He waited for Daddy to get up and let him out of the car. Whenever Will rode in the backseat the child lock was always on.

Hannibal opened the door and helped Will out by holding his hand. Will kept his hand locked in Daddy’s as they walked into the store.

“Daddy remember we need batteries for my chugga chugga bath train,” Will said softly into Hannibal’s ear.

“Good memory, honey. We’ll get those first. Is there anything else you can think of that we need?”

“Hmm…diapers?”

“We have plenty of those, baby. Plus we buy those online. They don’t sell the ones that fit you in the store. Anything else?”

“Ice cream!”

Hannibal smiled, grabbing a cart and shaking his head. “Maybe if you’re really good we can make our own ice cream together at home. Now you keep your hand on this cart and don’t take your hand off it for a second, do you understand me?”

Will nodded.

“We don’t want you getting lost. Okay?”

“Okay, Daddy.” His thumb moved up to his mouth. Hannibal softly bat it away.

“Baby, please don’t suck on your thumb right now.”

“Why not?”

Hannibal didn’t want to tell Little Will the real reason why, for fear of causing a scene. “Because we don’t have your binky right now and sucking on your thumb is bad for your teeth.”

Will nodded, sulking before quickly piquing up. “Oh! Daddy! I just thought of something we need!”

“Hmm?”

“A binky!”

Hannibal sighed.

•••

Will was a very well behaved boy during the grocery trip, only letting go of the cart when Daddy gave his permission. Hannibal only allowed Will to let go when he needed help filling the cart or when he was giving Will permission to go grab a free cookie sample from the nice lady with the big smile.

Will walked the store munching softly on his chocolate chunk cookie while Daddy pushed the cart. It kept Will nice and quiet for a while so he wasn’t asking questions and begging for Daddy to buy certain things every few seconds.

Some people gave them some odd looks, wondering why two grown men both had their hands on the same cart, but Hannibal and Will both ignored it.

“That was a yummy cookie, Daddy. It was almost better than the ones you make.”

“Almost?” Hannibal’s mouth twitched.

“Yes almost,” Will nodded. “You know why yours are better, Daddy?”

“Enlighten me, honey.”

“Because yours are made with love!” He squeaked.

Hannibal smiled, pulling at Will’s head to kiss his forehead not giving a damn if anyone saw or not. He kept his lips hovered over Will’s skin while he whispered. “You are so precious, you know that?”

Will giggled before his face got serious and he gasped softly. “Daddy can we bake cookies together? Please? Oh please?”

“Yeah, I suppose we can,” Hannibal kissed his boy’s forehead again. “We can make whatever kind you want. Let’s go get ingredients.”

“Yay!”

Chapter Text

With Little Will’s help Hannibal had finished his grocery shopping. They’d decided on making macadamia and white chocolate sugar cookies and bought all the ingredients to make them from scratch.

Will was still holding tight onto the full cart as they made their way from the back of the store to the front to check out.

“Daddy, can Mr. Bear help make the cookies?”

“He can watch from his high chair, honey.” Cleaning Mr. Bear was a huge chore and he would rather avoid it at any opportunity.

Will sulked. “I won’t get him messy I promise.”

“I know you won’t. But we wouldn’t want him to eat the batter when we’re not looking. He might get sick.” Hannibal was an expert at deflecting Little Will’s emotions and giving logical explanations for things to not trigger a tantrum.

“Oh yeah,” Will giggled imagining Mr. Bear with a paw full of batter including raw eggs. “He might. He’s silly sometimes.”

Hannibal smiled. “He is silly isn’t he?”

They were making their way down the canned fruit aisle when an employee of the store was stocking the shelves. He had his hand on large jar of chunky strawberry purée when his hand slipped and the jar fell to the ground and shattered. The chunks of red and crimson juice covered a five root radius feet away from where Hannibal and Will had been walking.

Will stopped dead in his tracks staring down the scene in front of him. The strawberries resembling the brain matter he saw in a crime scene not too long ago. The juice resembling the blood splattered all over the walls. His breath quickened and he began to tremble.

Hannibal looked at Will and noticed the start of a panic attack.

“Will? Will?”

Will couldn’t hear a thing, continuing to stare down, hyperventilating. Hannibal’s voice sounded like it was hundreds of feet away and underwater.

Hannibal put his hand on Will’s shoulder startling him out of his stupor. Will immediately turned and tried to run away but Hannibal tackled him in an embrace before he could get too far.

Will Graham had seen horrors beyond comprehension, but Little Will had never seen anything like that. Strawberries or not, it startled him out of Little space so jarringly fast reminding him of what he did for a living. Images of carnage were flicking through Little Will’s mind and he began to sob.

“Will? Baby it’s okay, it’s okay,” Hannibal was petting Will’s hair shushing him softly. Will collapsed to the ground and Hannibal fell too from the deadweight he was holding. Hannibal immediately wrapped his arms tighter around him and squeezed, his back against the shelf. Will closed his eyes, laying his head on Hannibal’s chest on the ground as the images continued.

“Focus on my voice, honey. You’re here with me. You’re safe. You’re with your Daddy. Nobody is going to hurt you. Calm your breath, baby. Breathe slow. That’s it. That’s it.” He pet Will’s curls as he talked him through the attack.

Will brought his own thumb to his mouth to begin sucking on it. Hannibal didn’t reprimand him or tell him not to, he allowed him to suck his thumb and soothe himself. He didn’t give a damn that they were in public. Anything that would make Will feel better.

“That’s it,” Hannibal cooed. “Suck your thumb, baby boy. It’s okay. Can you hear me?”

Will nodded, letting out a soft cry around his thumb.

“Do you wanna go home?”

Will nodded again.

Hannibal looked to the side and saw the employee was staring at them. Will didn’t notice, didn’t care to. Hannibal shot the employee a threatening look and shooed him away with his hand. They were alone in the aisle while Hannibal continued to console his boy.

“Can you get up, baby? You wanna go to the car and get Mr. Bear and go home?”

“Daddy,” Will whined around his thumb nuzzling up against Hannibal. “I don’t wanna look at that…stuff.”

Hannibal looked at the strawberry mess, Will’s head had been turned away from it. “We can walk the other way. It’s okay. We can go down a different aisle. Close your eyes. Don’t look.”

Hannibal helped Will up. Will pulled his thumb out of his mouth but kept his eyes closed. Hannibal abandoned their full cart and walked around and down another aisle. People stared at them as they walked but Will didn’t notice, his face in Hannibal’s neck whimpering.

“It’s okay, honey.” Hannibal kept telling him walking him to the car. “It’s okay.”

They got to the car and Hannibal put him in the backseat. Will immediately grabbed Mr. Bear and began crying into his fur.

•••

Once back home Hannibal guided Will to the couch in the sitting room and gave him a kiss on the forehead. He had stopped crying but his eyes were still reddened and wet. “Daddy will be right back, okay?” Will nodded. “Mr. Bear take good care of Will I’ll be right back.”

He put on a CD of slow classical music to soothe him and went up to his bedroom to grab the duffel bag. By the time he came back, Will had laid down on the couch and started sucking his thumb with his eyes closed, cuddling Mr. Bear and listening to the soft music, drifting in and out of sleep.

“Hey,” Hannibal ghosted his palm over Will’s forehead. “We need to diaper you, honey. Then you can sleep. Lay on your back.”

Nothing soothed Will more than being diapered. Nothing made him sleep better, free of worry than the soft padding between his legs. It had taken him some getting used to at first but now it was something Will needed. He couldn’t live without it.

Will shifted to his back and Hannibal unbuckled the slacks and yanked them and the navy briefs down and off. Will watched his Daddy work with half lidded eyes, his thumb still in his mouth.

Hannibal put the open diaper under Will’s bottom, and applied the diaper rash cream, powdered him and taped him up. “There you go,” Hannibal cooed. “Much better, Hmm?” He got Will’s binkie and replaced Will’s thumb with it, a quick trade. Hannibal sat down on the couch under Will’s bare legs softly rubbing his palm over Will’s thigh.

Will shifted, getting up and crawling closer to Hannibal to straddle him in his diaper, just wanting a big hug and to feel safe and secure. Hannibal hugged him tight against his chest and rubbed his back with his palms.

“It’s okay, take a little nap,” Hannibal whispered into his ear, the soft classical tune in the background was dragging Will gently into unconsciousness. Will’s face ducked into Hannibal’s neck and he shifted on Hannibal’s lap, his diaper crinkling from the soft movement. Hannibal’s fingers went up the back of Will’s shirt tickling his back causing his boy to twitch every few seconds from the tiny pleasurable shocks over his skin.

“Daddy has you,” Hannibal whispered. “Daddy isn’t going anywhere. Go to sleep, baby. Daddy loves you.”

Those were the last words Will registered before he was drifting fully into unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

Hannibal held Will for close to an hour as he napped on him in the straddling position. Hannibal’s legs had started getting numb but he didn’t care, not wanting to pull Will away from him for fear of waking his baby boy up. He needed a good deep nap to heal his mind from the horrors he experienced at the grocery store.

Will’s soft nose breathing against his neck and the gentle knock of his boy’s binkie against his skin every now and then was heaven. He could feel Will’s heart beat against his own chest and that accompanied by the soft classical music being played in the room, it was meditative.

He’d decided he was going to hold Will as long as he needed to until the boy woke up of his own volition but that was until he heard Will’s tummy rumbling against his own. Will had only had breakfast and hadn’t eaten very much, it was nearly two in the afternoon and he had also missed lunch.

“Hey,” Hannibal whispered into Will’s ear.

Will didn’t stir.

Hannibal gently pushed back on Will’s shoulders trying to get him to wake up but the dead weight wasn’t budging. “Honey, we need to get something in that little tummy of yours.” Will whined and moved his head to the other side. “I need you to get up,” Hannibal’s voice remained gentle.

Will sat up rubbing his eye with the back of his hand and whining some more. “It’s okay,” Hannibal assured. “You don’t even need to open those sleepy eyes, baby. Lay down on the couch I’ll be right back.”

Will got off Hannibal’s lap and curled up onto the couch, holding Mr. Bear tight to his chest and falling right back to sleep.

Hannibal went to the kitchen and was back in five minutes with a warm bottle. He maneuvered Will up so he could sit where Will’s head had been resting, letting his head down softly into his lap.

Will whined, half-awake. Hannibal shushed him softly. “Lay on your back. Good boy.” Will didn’t open his eyes but did what his Daddy said and held his bear to his side.

Hannibal gently pulled the binkie from Will’s mouth and replaced it with the nipple of the bottle. “There you go,” He smoothed Will’s sweaty hair back from his forehead. “Drink your milk. What a good baby boy I have.” His gentle praise heated Will’s cheeks and he shifted causing his diaper to crinkle again as he softly nursed on the nipple in his mouth. The milk was sweet, he immediately pinpointed it as vanilla coconut milk. That was his favorite.

Daddy rarely fed him a bottle but when he did it was when Will was feeling very Little or very sleepy. He loved how close to Daddy it made him feel. So loved and cared for and tiny and fragile.

Hannibal got lost in Will’s beauty as he fed him, continually moving the hair back from his face, petting him and praising him. How did he get so lucky as to earn this sweet man’s trust? Hannibal hadn’t expected Will to come to him six months ago calling him Daddy. That hadn’t been the game plan at all. He’d been simply trying to help a friend. Now he was in love and his sole purpose was to take care of this poor broken man and be the best Daddy he could possibly be.

Will was half-way through his bottle when there was a steady knock on Hannibal’s front door. The sound startled him but Will didn’t budge, continuing to suckle, unbothered.

Nobody had ever knocked or come to Hannibal’s house when he and Will were playing Daddy and Little. Nobody knew about them being together much less that part of their relationship. They mustn’t be seen together and here was Will, on his couch in his den, diapered, holding a teddy bear and drinking from a bottle. Hannibal wasn’t sure was to do. The knocking started again.

“Honey, do you wanna go upstairs while I answer the door?”

Will shook his head minutely. He put his palm around Hannibal’s hand holding the bottle and pulled the nipple from his mouth for a second to squeak out a sleepy whisper of a sentence. “Too Little, Daddy.”

Hannibal cursed himself. “You can’t stay down here. Not if I answer the door. What if someone sees you?”

Will shook his head putting the bottle back into his mouth and went back to holding Mr. Bear with both hands.

“Okay. You stay in here and don’t make a sound okay?” He cooed. “Just drink from your bottle and be a good silent boy.” Will grabbed the bottle from Hannibal as he stood up.

Hannibal walked to the front door hoping he could deflect whomever was there.

“Oh…Hi Jack,” Hannibal’s lips pressed into a firm line.

Jack, Will’s boss, smiled. “How are you, Dr. Lecter? I thought I’d stop by on my lunch break to have a word.”

“Stop by?” Hannibal smirked. “Crime scene near us?”

The headquarters Jack worked at was almost an hour away. There was nothing accidental about his visit.

Jack sighed. “Guilty. I thought perhaps you’d be willing to discuss Will?”

Hannibal turned facing the den where Will was laying in full Little space and back to Jack with a warm smile. “Come in.”

He ushered Jack into his dining room, on the opposite side of the house from the den. “Have a seat, please. I’ll fix us a light snack.”

Jack sat himself at the long table as Hannibal prepared a cheese and cracker plate accompanied by a couple glasses of his finest red and rejoined him at the table.

“I’m on the clock, Hannibal,” he smiled. “Don’t tell anyone,” he grabbed the wine glass and winked.

Hannibal mimed zipping up his own lips. “Your secret is safe with me. Now what did you want to know about our friend Will?”

“I’m worried about him. As you know,” Jack lathered a cracker with a smooth buttery white cheese. “I’m really beginning to question his sanity in all of this.” He took the cracker to his mouth downing it with one bite. “What happened after you took him from the crime scene yesterday?”

“You know as well as I do I can’t break doctor patient confidentiality,” Hannibal smiled taking a deep pull of his wine. “But I will allow myself to be vague when I say he and I talked at length and he’s getting worse as the days go on. I recommend, nay, insist that you pull him from the field and allow him to go back to teaching full time.”

“You really think so?” Jack said. “You know he’s gifted, Hannibal. Do you know how many lives he’s saved with his…”

“I don’t care,” Hannibal said raising his voice slightly. He was speaking about his patient, as far as Jack was concerned, but this was the man he loved. He wasn’t going to allow him to be hurt anymore. Not by the people he was supposed to be able to trust. “It’s killing him. Or do you not care about your employees?”

“Excuse me?” Jack’s voice boomed.

In the other room Will jumped hearing his bosses voice get loud. He had the sudden urge to get up and run into the other room and shield his Daddy from harm. Jack could be so mean sometimes. He gave Mr. Bear an extra hard squeeze with the arm that wasn’t holding his bottle.

“I apologize, Jack. But it really seems like you don’t care about what happens to Will as long as you can accost the criminals. Will’s life and sanity is worth more than catching a killer a few days in advance.”

“And do you know how many lives catching a killer early saves?” Jack was full on shouting. “I don’t care if it’s an hour early or a week early. I need Will on my team and I need him to keep doing what he does.”

“I’m afraid I can’t allow that,” Hannibal said. “My professional opinion is that he is broken. He can’t keep doing it. If you refuse to listen to me I’ll go to your superior and claim employee abuse.”

Jack got up with a huff. “Fine. Fine! Let Will go back to only working his useless little classroom and let a multitude of people die. I always knew he was weak. It’s a fucking shame.” He made his way to the front door to leave. If Will weren’t in the house Hannibal would’ve killed him right there. Slit his throat and bled him out all over his entryway.

“Nice seeing you, Jack,” he sneered.

Jack slammed his front door.

Hannibal immediately gathered the cheese plate and the wine and headed back to the kitchen. Grabbing the wine bottle he went to his pantry and unlocked it to put it away. He was in the pantry for a couple seconds when he heard a small voice behind him.

“Daddy, can I have more milk?”

Hannibal jolted and whipped around. Will had never been in the pantry. Nobody ever had been. Hannibal stared at his sweet boy.

He needed to find a way to get Will out of there before he turned around and looked at the refrigerator with the glass doors against the wall. On the shelf at eye level there were two perfectly packaged human kidneys along with some other obviously human parts.

“Oh! My Prince is awake.” He smiled, not allowing his face to convey his nervousness. He slid the wine into it’s holder against the wall and went to hold Will’s face. He kissed his forehead. “Come on, I’ll give you a refill and we can watch your favorite Pooh Bear episode while I feed you some more.”

Will smiled and held up his bottle to hand it to Hannibal accidentally dropped it. “Oh no!” He whined. It rolled along the floor and caught at a small raised lip in the wood. It was obviously a trap door of some kind.

“Daddy, what’s down there?”

Hannibal swallowed. “That’s where Daddy keeps wine.” He gathered the baby bottle back up and put it in his slack pocket.

“But your wine is right here,” Will squeaked pointing at the racks of bottles on the walls of the pantry.

“Down there is where I keep my most expensive wine that I only use for very special occasions.” He pet Will’s cheeks again making him smile. “No need for a little boy to ever go down there. Come on, honey, let’s get you some more milk.” He pushed Will gently back and maneuvered him out of the door to ensure he didn’t look behind himself.

Hannibal turned and locked the pantry door and pocketed the keys. Will honestly didn’t think too much of it. He trusted his sweet Daddy.

 

 

Chapter Text

Hannibal never watches television. He never even had one in his house until Little Will. At the mall during one of their earlier and rare outings Will had picked up a DVD with Pooh Bear on it and showed Hannibal, an excited smile on his sweet face.

“Daddy! It’s Pooh Bear! I have a coloring book of him!” He said softly as to not draw attention.

Hannibal smiled taking the DVD from his boy to look at. “Yes you do. But, Honey, I don’t have a television.”

Will sulked and put the DVD back without a word.

Upon seeing how sad Will was Hannibal picked it back up, called the local electronics store and ordered a flat screen and a DVD player to be delivered to his house within the hour. Anything for his baby boy.

Over the past six months Little Will had collected dozens of DVDs including all of the Disney films, and many more cartoons. Hannibal would buy them on his own and surprise Will with them the next time he saw him earning him a big excited hug each time.

Hannibal would’ve preferred Will used his mind and did things like puzzles and arts and crafts but tv made his little boy happy. He didn’t want to watch it all the time, only times when he was too Little or exhausted to do any real brain work. It was a nice escape.

Sometimes Will would just sit on the couch while Daddy held him watching the films but sometimes Will interacted, gasping and pointing at the screen explaining to Daddy what was happening.

“Look! Look! Pooh is stuck in the hole in the tree,” Will would say hiding his face in Daddy’s neck. “Oh Daddy what if they can’t get him out?”

Hannibal would rub his back. “It’s okay, Lamb, I’m sure they will.”

Will’s bottom lip would tremble and when Pooh was saved he would cheer and Hannibal would kiss his cheek, marveling at the innocence and adorableness of a very grown man adopting his childlike wonder.

Will’s very favorite was Winnie the Pooh’s Christmas Special, the music and love of friends enjoying the holiday together made Will feel serine and floaty and ever the more small.

Hannibal and Will laid back on the couch in the den as the movie played. Hannibal held the bottle in his baby’s mouth as he drank more of his milky lunch.

Jack had left half an hour ago and Will’s eyes were glued to the screen smiling around the nipple in his mouth at his favorite parts.

When the bottle was empty Will sat up slowly and turned off the television catching Hannibal by surprise.

He kept his eyes glued to his boy who sat in silence for a while in the dark curtained-room before speaking.

“Hannibal, I appreciate what you said to Jack.” He turned to hold Hannibal’s hands in his. “But I can’t just quit. As much as I want to. I just, I can’t. If people die, that’s on me. I could never forgive myself.”

“You told me at the crime scene yesterday…”

“I know what I said,” Will snapped with a deep sigh covering his face with his hands and rubbing. “I’m sorry. I’ve thought about it a lot. I need to sacrifice my own sanity for the…greater good.”

“You’re not Superman, Will. You can’t save everyone. You need to focus on saving yourself first.” He rubbed his thumbs along Will’s cheeks holding him.

“Jack called me weak,” Will sighed. “He didn’t know I was here, that I could hear him. People only speak their truth when they don’t think the person they’re speaking about is listening. And look at me,” Will looked down at himself and saw what he was wearing. “I am weak.”

“Don’t say that,” Hannibal said. “Please don’t say that. You’re not weak. In fact accepting therapy makes you stronger than most. Those who deny it’s effects are the ones that are weak, Will. You know how you feel. This makes you happy. Doesn’t it?”

Will nodded. “It does.”

“But the guilt and embarrassment still eats away at you?”

Will nodded again.

“What happened at the grocery store. God… what if someone saw me.”

“Nobody saw you.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“I kept a look out. Nobody I know or that I know knows you saw us. It was all strangers. You’re safe.”

“I was pathetic. Seeing…strawberries in sauce completely debilitated me. Who…who does that?” He laughed breathy and awkwardly, covering his face again.

“Little Will does. He’s a part of you, Honey. Like it or not. He’s one of my favorite parts of you. I wish you’d give him more credit.” Hannibal tucked a stray curl behind Will’s ear. “He’s helped you through a lot hasn’t he?”

Will nodded. “Can I be honest?” He whispered, staring down at his own hands in his lap.

“Of course.”

“Part of me is scared to quit field work because I’m afraid if I do I won’t need…this…anymore.” He looked up at Hannibal with tears in his eyes. “This is what brought us together. I’m terrified of losing it. Losing the feeling I get from it… Losing you.”

“Honey,” Hannibal said with a deep sigh pulling Will to his chest and holding him. “I don’t ever want you thinking I wouldn’t want you anymore if Little Will were to go away. I love you regardless. Unconditionally. Okay?” Will nodded into their embrace. “I understand not wanting to lose the need for being Little. It brings you so much joy. But if you don’t quit soon, Baby, your sweet mind is going to be so corrupt and damaged to the point that you won’t feel anything. Do you think if you quit you wouldn’t want to be Little at all anymore?”

Will shrugged.

“If you do and Little Will goes away then that’s okay, but…and this might sound discouraging but if it helps my point…your demons will always be there. Just because you quit field work doesn’t mean the photos you lecture on and the things you study won’t require you to need an outlet. You’ve ingratiated yourself in the Little lifestyle so much and found so much calm and happiness in it I can’t see it going anywhere. You could get a job at a retail store and you would still have a need for being Little. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Will nodded, his heart swelling for the man who held him and spoke such soft and encouraging words. He felt so understood, cared about, adored. He had broken from Little space more lately than he had in the entire six months of their play combined. While he interpreted that as their play possibly coming to an end he realized it was all for a reason. They needed to speak of their feelings. It meant their relationship was strong. Bulletproof. He felt so secure in Hannibal’s arms. He wanted to melt into them, into Hannibal himself. Claim his body as his own.

They may only have been in an official relationship for a couple of days but to both of them they felt like they’d been together for the full six months. During that time they hadn’t had eyes for anyone else.

Will wanted to be close with Hannibal again. As close as possible. He wanted to make Hannibal feel as good as he was making him feel. Will remembered Hannibal saying they could begin exploring each other’s bodies fully after the weekend was over but Will wanted it right then. 

 

Chapter Text

“Hannibal?”

“Hmm?”

Will exhaled, his chest pressing firmly against Hannibal’s in their embrace on the couch. Hannibal could smell the faint hint of desire in the sweat of Will’s neck. He knew exactly what he was about to ask.

“Honey…”

“Please?” Will clung to him harder. “Please. I want to feel you. As much as I can.” He ducked his head to begin kissing Hannibal’s neck. “Daddy, please.”

Hannibal cursed softly under his breath, rubbing down Will’s back with his palms. “I told you after the weekend…”

“Can’t wait,” Will’s breath was hot on Hannibal’s neck. He pulled back to claim Hannibal’s lips with his own. Hannibal opened his mouth and sighed, high off of Will’s eagerness. “Want to be inside you. Or you inside me. I don’t care.” He spoke with their lips still touching before moving into kiss again.

“This is going too fast, baby,” Hannibal said, pressing back on Will’s shoulder gently.

Will allowed himself to be pushed. His face was the definition of hurt.

“Don’t you want me?”

“Of course I want you, Honey,” Hannibal pet Will’s cheeks. “I just…want our first time to be…apocalyptic. At the rate we’re going it’ll be over far too quickly. I want us to take our time. We need to clean up a bit first.”

Will nodded. “Okay.”

•••

Upstairs in the bathroom they shed all their clothes and got into the shower together. Will had seen Hannibal nude many times but only ever soft and only with an air of pure innocence surrounding him. Will would watch him dress in pajamas while laying under the covers waiting for his Daddy to join him for bed or play with his toys in the bathroom while Daddy showered, but never had they both been naked at the same time. And never with the prospect of anything happening.

Will had been attracted to Hannibal for many months, since the very beginning of their play but it had all been sensual touches, never sexual. Soft innocent petting and caring glances, never ones filled with lust.
What happened during bath time the night before had been momentous, for both of them. They’d proven to themselves they could be sexual without it ruining their Daddy and Little play. It was still innocent and sweet. Will was terrified their dynamic would change. When it didn’t he felt comfortable to take it further.

In the shower they took turns washing each other. Hannibal washed Will’s hair with his own shampoo, not the powdery smelling baby shampoo he usually washed him with. They got distracted for a while kissing, Hannibal pressing Will against the wet tiles to claim his mouth and rub against him. Their hard cocks made contact for the first time and Will whimpered into his mouth, gripping hard at his hips and making him grind harder. Will wasn’t in Little Space, but he still called Hannibal the name he’d been calling him for half a year.

“Daddy,” he sighed as Hannibal’s wet cock slid against his own, the water continuing to cascade around them.

“That feel good, baby?” Hannibal’s hand found the base of Will’s back pressing him ever harder toward himself.

Will nodded. “Are you gunna fuck me, Daddy?” He leaned back to look into Hannibal’s eyes.

“I was thinking you would fuck me. Hmm? Would you like that?” He began kissing Will’s neck.

He nodded frantically. “Yes. Oh God, yes.”

They continued washing themselves and stepped out. Hannibal suppressed the urge to towel dry Will off, as he always had, and allowed him to do it himself. He was cautious not to baby him through anything. They made their way into the bedroom holding hands, their fingers laced, towels discarded in a heap on the bathroom floor. Hannibal grabbed a bottle of lube from the bedside table drawer before he was sitting down and tugging Will toward him again.

“Lay back, Honey,” Hannibal said almost at a whisper.

Will did as ordered, continuing to stare up at Hannibal with such adoration. Hannibal rubbed his palm over Will’s chest, leaving kissed behind as his hand made the journey farther down. Will’s back arched and he let out a gorgeous whine when Hannibal wrapped his lips around the head of his cock. “Daddy…oh…D…” He carded his fingers through Hannibal’s grey-peppered hair and squeezed, tugging gently on the dampened silky strands. His breath caught in his throat and his hips raised trying to fuck out up into his Daddy’s mouth but Hannibal was holding his hips down, making him a slave to his pleasure.

“S…stop,” Will sighed pressing on Hannibal’s bare shoulder. Hannibal looked up with concern.

“Are you okay, Honey?” He left a chaste kiss on the tip of Will’s cock.

Will nodded.

“I’m too close,” he whined. “Want to fuck you before I come. Please.”

Hannibal smirked, running the tip of his finger along Will’s shaft causing him to twitch and gasp.

“Such a naughty boy, begging so sweetly to fuck his Daddy.” He left a soft open-mouthed peck along the shaft, not taking his eyes off Will for a second.

Will whimpered. “Please.”

•••

They’d shifted positions so they were laying together closer toward the head of the bed. In a proper way so their heads could rest on the soft pillows.

“That’s it, good boy,” Hannibal sighed petting Will’s hair as his boy was two fingers deep in his hole, his digits coated with lube. “Fuck me with them, Honey. In and out.” He had talked him through everything, knowing it was Will’s very first time with a man. He wanted to make sure he was praising him as much as possible. Encouraging him.

Will’s dick was throbbing hard against Hannibal’s thigh as he finger-fucked his Daddy. He wished more than anything it were his cock and not his fingers. “Am I doing it right?” He looked at Hannibal with big wide eyes.

Hannibal smiled, cupping his boy’s cheeks. He kissed his lips. “You’re doing wonderfully.” Will pressed further in at just that moment causing Hannibal to buck forward and groan, hiding his face in Will’s neck. “Fuck, Baby.”

Will continued to press in and out, hooking his fingers like Hannibal had taught him to tease his prostate. “Is that good?” Will would continuously ask although he could tell just by looking at Hannibal that he was a whimpering mess and would surely die for it if need be.

Hannibal reached around eventually and captured Will’s wrist in his grasp and made him pull his fingers out. “Getting far too close. Want you in me. Come here, Baby.” He laid onto his back and beckoned Will to drape himself over him. Their cocks touched again, both wet and sticky from their pre-come, they slid together easily, feeding each other their broken breaths. They joined lips again and Hannibal pressed down on Will’s shoulders, pushing him further down his body. He blindly encircled Will’s cock in his own grasp and pressed him into himself until just the very end of the tip was against his hole. He rubbed there softly, holding Will’s girth and teasing his own hole with his cock.

Will whimpered at the sensation. So close yet so far away. He gripped at Hannibal’s shoulders very much feeling submissive to the man about to take him into his body. He pressed in slowly, groaning as Will filled him up. “Press in,” Hannibal directed, kissing his lips. “Press the rest in. Do whatever you want. I’m yours, Honey.”

Will pressed his face into Hannibal’s neck and thrust in causing Hannibal to scramble at his back to hold him tight, his knees pressing back so his shins were perpendicular to the ceiling. “Fuck me, Baby. Fuck me,” he was sobbing. Will retreated his hips and slammed back in. Will’s body shook at the intensity of every feeling coursing through his veins.

He was one with the man he loved. His caretaker. His Daddy. He’d never loved anybody as much as he’d loved him. The trust and adoration he had for Hannibal was unmatchable. Hannibal came first after Will’s third hard thrust into his body, quaking and groaning, clutching at Will’s arms and back. Will came immediately after, whimpering and continuing to buck forward in tiny minute movements. He began to cry, hot tears flowing down his cheeks as he spilled inside of Hannibal.

“Shh,” Hannibal stroked his damp hair and kissed his forehead, holding him even tighter against him talking him through his orgasm, having a difficult time finding the breath to do so. “It’s okay,” he sighed. “Get it all out. That’s it.”

“I love you, Daddy,” Will sobbed.

“I know,” Hannibal cooed, petting his face. “Daddy loves you too. So much, Baby.” His eyes were shutting, as were Will’s. Their minds fading into blissful unconsciousness. “So much.”

 

Chapter Text

When Hannibal woke he was disoriented at first, not used to mid-day naps he forgot what day it was and the time. He turned to the bedroom window and it was dark out. Why was he nude? It all came flooding back to him, it was Saturday. He and Will had just had sex and fallen asleep.

But where was he?

The other side of his bed was empty.

What time was it?

He turned toward his alarm clock reading fifteen past nine in the evening. Did Will leave? Had he scared him off?

Hannibal got up from his bed and went immediately to the bathroom to clean himself up, put on a pair of pajama pants and left his room.

“Will? Will!”

Was Will Big or Little again? Had he left his house or was he still there somewhere? Had he reverted? Hannibal didn’t remember Will leaving the bed but he vaguely remembered waking up mid nap and holding Will closer. That couldn’t have been that long ago. The sun had just started setting then.

“Will?” Hannibal voice was weaker. He began to think the worst. He went to Little Will’s bedroom and opened the door. He was there, sitting on the floor playing with his trains. Hannibal let out the deep exhale he had been holding. Will had dressed himself in green shorts and a Rugrats t-shirt.

Will looked up at him from the floor beaming. “Hi, Daddy!”

“Hey, Buddy,” Hannibal said crouching down to get onto eye level with Little Will. “Don’t do that again, okay? You scared me.”

Will looked confused. What had he done?

“Do what?” His voice was soft and childish again.

“Not tell Daddy where you’re going. I woke up and you weren’t there. Can you imagine how scary that must’ve been for me? I didn’t know if you left or if you were hurt…”

“I’m sorry,” Will said with a pout. “I just really wanted to play and you were so sleepy and snorey…”

“Snorey?” Hannibal laughed. “I snored?”

Will grimaced. “Really loud.”

“I’m sorry, Honey.”

“You never snore except tonight. It was kinda funny. You sounded like a dragon.”
Will covered his mouth in a giggle.

“A dragon? That is funny isn’t it?” They laughed together. “Are you hungry, baby boy?” He moved a strand of hair behind Will’s ear. “You only had breakfast and a couple bottles today. You want Daddy to go prepare you a big meal?”

Will nodded. “Yes, please!”

“Okay. You keep playing with your toys and I’ll go cook. You’re such a big boy today you can stay by yourself.”

“I’m a big big big boy,” Will beamed.

“Yes you are,” Hannibal kissed his forehead and got up to leave the room and go cook a late dinner. He was half way out the door when Will called to him.

“Daddy?”

“Hmm?”

“Thank you.”

Hannibal knew the thank you was from Big Will, he could sense it in his eyes. Surely he was thanking him for the smooth and easy non-awkward transition from big adult sex back to Little play. Hannibal was everything Will needed at any time he needed it.

Hannibal nodded. “You’re welcome, Will.”

•••

Hannibal had cooked human meat for Will many times without him being aware of it, and that Saturday night was no exception.

As soon as he got down to the kitchen he unlocked his pantry and grabbed the two wrapped kidneys to prepare. He began slicing them immediately praying Will didn’t come downstairs before he could deconstruct the meat into looking less human and more like the rabbit he was going to pass it off as.

•••

Forty-five minutes later Hannibal trekked back up the stairs to collect his boy for supper.

“Hey, Honey, dinner is ready.”

Will had dressed Mr. Bear in the train conductor suit he’d forgotten Daddy had bought for him and was making him work the remote for the trains with his paws.

“Daddy look! Mr. Bear is a conductor!”

“He’s doing a great job. But his Daddy’s food is getting cold downstairs so if he wants to join you at the table he can sit in his high chair.”

“I’m Mr. Bear’s Daddy?” Will giggled. “I’m not a Daddy.”

“You take care of him don’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“And feed him sometimes?”

“Yeah.”

“And dress him?”

Will gasped. “I guess I am Mr. Bear’s Daddy…”

Hannibal smiled. “Come on, food is downstairs.”

“Come on, Mr. Bear, if you’re a good boy you can have dessert.” He used a line Hannibal had used on him before. Will was so cute and smart.

•••

“This is yummy, Daddy! What is it?” Will was dipping the cut up pieces of kidney into his puréed potatoes and bringing them to his mouth with his pink plastic spoon, taking another huge bite.

“It’s rabbit,” Hannibal smiled warmly.

“Like…Pooh bear’s friend?” Will held his spoon hovering above his food. He looked suddenly sad. “I feel bad eating his friends, Daddy.”

“Yes, Will. He’s an animal. We eat animals.”

Will looked very upset and hesitated for a moment. He spooned himself another bite and continued staring down at it. “Well…he sure is delicious!” Will smiled and popped the spoon into his mouth.

Hannibal began laughing hard. “Okay, you’ve earned yourself cookies for that.”

“Cookies!” Will squealed.

“Make a happy plate first and then we’ll bake. We’ve got our sleep schedule out of wack we’ll probably be up all night.”

“Oh! Daddy! Can we make a fort?”

Hannibal smiled and nodded. Anything for Little Will.

Chapter Text

“Daddy I’m not a big big big boy anymore,” Will said as he and Hannibal were grabbing their things to move to the living room with their freshly baked warm sugar cookies.

They had left the basket of groceries at the store earlier but luckily Hannibal was able to scrounge up enough to make the simple cookies. Will had helped stir the batter but wasn’t strong enough and had to let Daddy do it for him. He pouted at that, embarrassed to be such a weakling in front of Mr. Bear.

“You’re still my strong little man,” Hannibal smiled kissing Will’s forehead causing him to blush.

“No? You don’t want to be a big boy anymore tonight?”

Will squeezed Mr. Bear tight and shook his head. “Nuh uh.”

“Do you want me to go get your supplies, Honey?” He set his own glass of milk down on the counter.

Will nodded three times in quick succession.

“Okay. I will,” he whispered taking up Will’s sippy cup of milk and transferring it to one of the baby bottles he had in his cabinet with the quick feed nipple. “Here, Honey. Go to the den and Daddy will join you in there with the cookies in just a moment.”

He went upstairs to gather up the duffel and met Will in the den with the plate of cookies and his own glass of milk, setting them all on the glass coffee table. He diapered Will up and put him in another of his favorite big t-shirts, a white one reading “Daddy’s Cutie” in pink.

Once he was dressed Will pulled the bottle of his mouth to speak.

“Fort?”

“You want me to make a fort for us again?”

Will nodded, putting the bottle back into his mouth and curling his hair around his finger while Daddy got to work.

It was a lot of work fetching the sheets and the rest but Hannibal did it for his baby boy, Will had had a long and crazy day and he deserved whatever he wanted.

It didn’t take too long. He draped the large sheets over the television and secured them to the walls at a downward angle creating a little tent like area for them. He had moved Will onto the floor closer to the television with the plate of cookies and a few pillows.

Will picked out his DVD of Fantasia, which was one of Hannibal’s favorites as well. He never had to pretend to enjoy that one for Will’s sake.

The movie started and Will reached for a cookie. Hannibal told Will with a soft rub on his back that he was only allowed three cookies, he didn’t want his baby getting a tummy ache or staying up too late from too much sugar. The cookies were small; barely two inches in diameter.

“You’re not going to have any cookies, Daddy?” Will pouted not seeing Hannibal reaching for one. His voice cracked back to Big voice when he spoke as it often did when he was doing his Little voice. Hannibal thought there was almost nothing more precious than Will’s voice cracking.

“Maybe later,” Hannibal said with a warm smile. He took a swig of his glass of milk. Hannibal never liked to partake in sweets so late at night. The cookies had been made to make Will happy.

After Will’s first cookie he reached for his second, holding it to Mr. Bear’s mouth and watching him intently. “Is that good? Me and Daddy made them.”

Hannibal watched this interaction, his eyes soft. He loved nothing more than to observe Will while he was in Little Space. He was so carefree and adorable.

Hannibal remembered how reluctant Will had been to the therapy so many months ago and to see him thriving in it and allowing it to help him, Hannibal’s heart swelled. He had done all of this for Will. He was the reason for Will’s current happiness. He could cry at the thought.

Will reached for his bottle and pressed the nipple against Mr. Bear’s mouth. “You need something to wash down that sweet cookie don’t you?” Will cooed. He was being careful not to get any crumbs or milk on Mr. Bear’s fur. “Good boy,” Will praised. “That’s enough for you now, we don’t want you to get a tummy ache.” He reiterated the words Hannibal had spoken to him moments before.

“See? I’m a good Daddy to Mr. Bear!” Will turned to Hannibal beaming.

“You’re a great Daddy, Honey,” Hannibal kissed Will’s nose.

“I learned from the best,” Will smiled.

Hannibal kissed his nose again for that. How precious was his boy?

Will finished his allotted cookies rather quickly and downed the rest of the milk in his bottle before getting his binkie from the duffel and going to cuddle up to Daddy on the floor.

Hannibal was sitting up cross-legged and Will laid down with his head in his Daddy’s lap continuing to watch the film and suck on his pacifier, clutching his bear while Hannibal pet his soft hair, occasionally twirling strands of it around his fingers.

Will nuzzled against Hannibal’s thigh over his satin pajama pants, a silly way of showing affection.

“You’re a wiggly Little thing tonight aren’t you?”

Will giggled around his dummy before turning to lay on his back. He tapped his pacifier and waited.

Hannibal bent to kiss the plastic between his lips and Will blushed and giggled some more. Will tapped again, Hannibal kissed again, making Will laugh harder. He continued doing it creating a game out of it and Hannibal kissed the pacifier each time, smiling down at his boy and his simple gleefulness.

“You’re Daddy’s adorable Little boy.” He held Will’s cheek and Will nodded, pleased with himself.

Will pulled his binkie out momentarily to speak. “And you’re the most handsomest and prettiest and nicest Daddy ever.”

Hannibal stroked Will’s cheek and smiled down at him.

Will lifted Mr. Bear up toward Hannibal. “Give him kisses too, Daddy! He’s jealous and wants night night kisses!”

Hannibal kissed Mr. Bear’s sewn fur mouth. “Is Mr. Bear already tired, Honey?”

Will nodded.

“He decided it’s too late for him to be up still, even though he got a long nap earlier he’s still real sleepy.”

“Like his Daddy?” Hannibal cooed. “I see those droopy little eyes.” He softly booped the top of Will’s eye-bone.

Will nodded. “But I don’t wanna go upstairs yet. Wanna fall asleep here.” He pouted. “Wanna keep watching Wizard Mickey.”

It was well past midnight and while they’d slept the entire mid-day away, Little Will was indeed already sleepy. His bottle always lulled him into it and the soft crinkling between his legs always meant bedtime, so his mind was already there.

Will could sense Hannibal wasn’t tired at all. He felt guilty wanting to sleep if it left Daddy awake and alone.

“Okay, we can stay down here and continue the movie until you fall asleep.”

Will nodded, turning back to watch the movie and placing his binkie back into his mouth.

While they watched, Hannibal’s hand moved Will’s long shirt up to softly graze his nails over Will’s soft little tummy tickling there. Will’s hand met Hannibal’s and silently pet his index finger over his Daddy’s fingers doing such soft and affectionate work.

Hannibal looked down at Will watching him watch the movie, his eyes full of innocence and wonder glued to the television. Hannibal’s eyes began to water, a lone tear streamed down his cheek as he observed his sweet innocent boy.

Hannibal wanted to be good for him, wanted to care for him, protect him, bring him never-ending happiness. And if Will knew what he was, what he did, he would be scared of him, hate him, never want to see him again. Another tear streamed from his eye.

Will took notice, feeding off his Daddy’s silent energy. His hand had stopped moving over his tummy. Will turned to look up and saw Hannibal’s tears.

A look passed over Will’s face of him trying to figure out if he should stay in Little space or break for the conversation.

He pulled out his pacifier.

“What’s wrong, Daddy?”

“Nothing’s wrong, Honey.”

“Why are you crying?” His voice was soft and concerned. He reached up to wipe away Hannibal’s tears like Hannibal did for him when he was upset.

Hannibal sighed. He felt a deep yearning blossom in his chest, his boy’s eyes shining up at him like he was some hero. He was nothing of the sort.

“Daddy just loves you so much.”

While it wasn’t a lie in a slightest it was deflecting from his true emotions. He couldn’t speak to anyone about this problem and it was eating away at him.

He never felt guilt or shame for being the way that he was. Never cared or had an empathetic bone in his body while taking lives and consuming their flesh. Not until Will. Not until he needed him. He would try his very hardest to stop. For his boy. For his Will. He would attempt anything.

Will Graham made him want to be a better man.

 

 

 

 

Will’s Dummy/Pacifer/Binkie 

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Chapter Text

“Daddy, I don’t want the weekend to be over,” Will said from the backseat of the car. His head was resting back against the seat as he stared sadly out of the raindrop covered window, a pout on his lips and Mr. Bear securely in his lap.

It was Sunday afternoon and the weekend was soon coming to an end. Will would have to go back to work, back to the horrors and away from Hannibal and his safe Little space he’d been in almost nonstop that weekend.

“I know, Honey,” Hannibal said. The rain was coming down hard. They’d slept in since they’d stayed up so late the evening before and were just then getting a start on the day. “But we can make the most out of today can’t we?”

Will nodded and continued staring out the window listening to his Disney tunes.

Will was very sad upon waking up, crying and clinging to Hannibal knowing it was their last full morning together for a while and sad about having slept most of the day away.

Hannibal shushed him softly rubbing his back and thinking about what he could do or say to help his Little Will feel better.

“Do you want to go toy shopping and then out to lunch? Just you and I?” Little Will had hundreds of toys but spoiling his sweet boy was Hannibal’s favorite pastime.

Will pulled back, his cheeks wet with tears. “And Mr. Bear?” He whined.

“Of course.” He smiled, kissing his baby boy’s nose. Hannibal loved Will’s imagination and would never deny him the security blanket of having Mr. Bear, however it was difficult to convince Little Will that he couldn’t take Mr. Bear into a store or restaurant.

He always had to cross his fingers when he suggested leaving his stuffie in the car while they went in somewhere. Sometimes Will was fine and compliant and sometimes he threw a fit.

Once it started pouring rain halfway to their destination Hannibal cursed himself knowing Will wouldn’t want to leave his toy in the car alone in the scary rain. He was brainstorming of things he could say to convince him to.

The music got to be a bit boring so Will decided to ask Hannibal a question.

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Me?” He wasn’t sure if Will was talking to him or Mr. Bear. He always spoke to his stuffie with upmost conviction.

Will nodded, Hannibal caught it into the rear view.

“Hmm…what’s your favorite color, Will?”

“Light brown,” Will said with a squeak.

Hannibal scrunched his face and chuckled. He’d never heard that one before.

“Why is that?”

“It’s the color of your eyes, Daddy.”

Hannibal inhaled sharply. “That’s very sweet, Baby.” He smiled to himself. “Well then mine is probably blue.”

“Because of my eyes?” Will smiled.

Hannibal nodded and Will giggled.

“Daddy, what do you do for a living?” Will said.

Hannibal smiled, Big Will knew what he did since of course he was a patient of his, he must’ve been trying to make any conversation he could out of boredom.

“You’re quite the inquisitive one today aren’t you?”

“What’s in-quiz-tiv?”

“It means curious and insistent.”

Will shrugged. “I guess. What do you do, Daddy?”

“I talk to people and listen to their problems and help them feel better. I can also prescribe them medication to make their brains feel better too.”

“That’s very nice of you, Daddy. You make people happy for a living!” Will smiled big.

“I guess you could say that,” Will’s smile was contagious causing his own smile to broaden.

“You make me happy…”

“I do?”

Will nodded enthusiastically. “Very very happy.”

“That makes me feel good to hear that, Honey.”

“Daddy, where does rain come from?”

Hannibal sighed, retaining a smile before explaining.

•••

They’d decided on grabbing lunch before the toy store seeing as how they had skipped breakfast and ‘Mr. Bear’s tummy is rumbly’. They pulled into a burger place that had nice big circle corner booths, a perfect place to have some privacy.

Hannibal knew better than to ask Will to keep his toy in the car. “Zip up Mr. Bear in your jacket, Baby. He might be cold in there.”

“Good idea!” Will said zipping Mr. Bear up but keeping his head sticking out.

Hannibal sighed. “Honey, what if Mr. Bear smells the burgers and his big bear instincts kick in and he escapes your jacket and eats everyone’s burgers? I heard bears act up when it’s rainy out.”

Will’s eyes got wide with worry.

“Zip him up all the way so he can’t smell. Once we’re sat with our food you can share your burger with him as long as you don’t get him messy.”

Will kissed the top of Mr. Bear’s head. “It’s okay,” He cooed. “I know you’re scared of the dark but it’s for your own protection. I love you. You can come out later.”

“Come on!” Will said. “Hurry! Let’s go inside and order before Mr. Bear starts crying!”

Hannibal came around the car with his umbrella and let Will out of the backseat holding his hand on the way into the restaurant.

“How many?”

“Two,” Hannibal said with a smile.

“I want colors,” Will whispered into Hannibal’s ear.

Hannibal politely asked the host for a child’s menu as well as a set of colors. “We don’t like to use our cell phones when we’re on dates. We prefer activities that aren’t involved with technology. We’ve heard your child menus have word puzzles and such.”

“Yeah, man,” the host said grabbing a kid’s menu and a set of crayons along with two adult menus. “I get that.”

“May we request a corner booth, please?”

“Yeah,” the host walked them over to a corner booth, no other tables were sat close to them.

“Thank you for your help,” Hannibal handed the host a one-hundred-dollar bill.

“Holy shit, man, you can’t be serious,” he laughed.

“Your hospitality is top notch, but please do watch your language.” Hannibal said before taking a seat in the booth. Will had already scooted into the center and busied himself with opening the crayon packet ignoring what was going on.

The host gave Will a funny look but ignored it.

“Enjoy your lunch, sirs.”

“Thank you.”

The host walked away and Will had started looking at the child’s menu.

“I want the Junior Burger, Daddy,” Will said kicking his feet under the booth.

“Honey, you can’t order off the child menu right now.”

Will frowned. “Why not? It comes with a free milkshake!”

“Because the child menu is for children twelve and younger. I’ll buy you a separate milkshake, Honey.”

Will sulked. “Okay. But Daddy I want the toy that comes with it.”

“William, we’re headed to the toy store after this. Do you really need a cheap toy that comes with a burger as well?”

“I was going to give it to Mr. Bear,” Will hung his head.

“We’ll buy him something while we’re out too.”

“Hi,” the waitress arrived with a big kind smile. “I’m Nancy. What may I get you two to drink?”

“A Club Soda with lime, please,” Hannibal smiled.

“Chocolate milk!” Will said, his voice wasn’t Little but not quite Big.

“No,” Hannibal said. “Do you have sugar free apple juice, Nancy?”

Nancy furrowed her brow, curious of why a grown man was denying another grown man what he wanted to drink. “We do.”

“Fantastic. He’ll have one of those, please, Nancy.”

“Yes, sirs, right away.” She didn’t say a word as she walked away to fetch the beverages, not wanting to risk missing out on the big tip after the host had told her about his tip from simply sitting them at their table.

“Daddy, I wanted chocolate milk,” Will pouted.

“Will, you’ll drink what I ordered for you and that’s final. Understood? Chocolate milk has too much sugar and caffeine. If you’re going to get a milkshake too that’s going to make your tummy very sore, don’t you agree?”

Will nodded. Daddy was always right. “Can we play tic-tac-toe?” He pushed the kid’s menu over between he and Hannibal handing him his other crayon.

Will won the first game, beaming as he did.

“What a smart boy,” Hannibal cooed.

He allowed Will to win again before their drinks arrived.

“Are you two ready to order?”

“Yes, Nancy. I’ll have the medium-rare steak Caesar salad with no croutons. And he will have a bacon cheeseburger also medium-rare with all the veggies on the side and a side of broccoli, please, no fries.”

“Yes sirs,” She took their adult menus and walked away.

Once their food arrived Will allowed Mr. Bear out of his jacket, holding his burger and piece of broccoli a centimeter from Mr. Bear’s sewn mouth pretending to feed him, keeping him out of sight from everyone else in the restaurant. “Is that good?” Will cooed, pretend feeding his stuffie.

They finished their meal and Hannibal ordered a strawberry milkshake for them to share. Hannibal only allowed a couple sips from either of them before he was pushing the shake away. Will knew better than to argue for more. Any more and he would become sick, like Daddy warned.

Hannibal paid, tipping the waitress two-hundred dollars.

“Come back any time!” She beamed.

“Thank you, Nancy.” He took Will’s hand and led him back to the car. It had stopped raining but Mr. Bear was hidden back in Will’s jacket.

Hannibal drove them to the mall, a large two story building full of dozens of stores as well as a Barnes & Noble.

“Oh! Daddy! Can we get some new night time books!”

“I suppose,” Hannibal said. “Why don’t we leave Mr. Bear in the car to protect it this time, Hmm? It’s not raining anymore so he won’t be scared.”

Will shook his head. “No! I want him with me!”

“Honey, it’s either he’s scared inside your jacket in the dark or in the car by himself.”

“Can’t I just carry him like normal?” Will’s eyes began to water.

“Not here.”

“Why?” He rubbed his eye.

“At home, yes. Not in public. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t wanna go anymore then. I’ll stay here. You can go shop.”

Hannibal sighed. Will had never been that difficult before. “I can’t leave you alone in the car. You’re far too little for that.”

“I’m a big boy,” Will argued.

“Not big enough.”

Will whined, tossing himself down in the backseat with a huff.

“William. I’m trying to make today a good one and I know you’re acting out because it’s Sunday. But if you don’t turn this little attitude around we will go right back home and I’ll take you over my knee, do you understand?”

“No, Daddy, please don’t.”

Hannibal knew Will could safe-word if he didn’t like the way Hannibal was threatening, but he didn’t.

“Then are you going to be a good boy?”

Will nodded sitting Mr. Bear up in the seat. “You stay right here while me and Daddy go shop and get you a new toy and me some new toys, but don’t worry you’ll always be my favorite!” He kissed Mr. Bear’s nose. “Daddy?”

“Hmm?”

“I need to go potty.”

•••

Then walked through the mall to the nearest bathroom hand in hand. The room was empty and he walked Will to the big stall at the end. He helped Will out of his pants and pull-up.

“Do you want to stand and go pee pee or sit down?”

“Sit,” Will said. “It’s easier.”

“I agree,” Hannibal said setting up the public toilet liner and helping Will down onto it without it shifting.

They so rarely used public restrooms together but Will loved how sweet and patient Hannibal was with him when he was Little in public. He shifted around and did as Hannibal had taught him, peeing down into the bowl.

Once he was finished Hannibal cleaned him up. “Can you show me how big you are and do your pants up all by yourself?”

Will pulled up his dry adult-sized blue and dinosaur pull-up and tried to buckle his own pants but was having difficulty with the button.

Hannibal grabbed the pants for him and helped with the button. “Good,” he praised kissing Will’s forehead. “Such a good smart boy.” He helped Will wash his hands, standing behind him a few inches in case someone walked else into the bathroom but nobody did.

•••

Hannibal took Will to Build-A-Bear to buy a few more outfits for Mr. Bear, talking quietly amongst themselves as they debated on what Mr. Bear would like to wear and what he wouldn’t. They decided to get a baseball outfit, a pair of Doctor’s scrubs, and a Wizard suit with matching wand that strapped to the teddy’s paw.

Will kisses Hannibal’s cheek after the purchase was made. “Thank you, Daddy.” He said. He was always so polite and grateful.

They went to the book store and Will picked out thirteen picture books for night time, one of the stories was about a teddy bear that ran away from home. Will was very worried about reading that one but Hannibal looked at the final page and confirmed a happy ending for the bear so Will felt better.

At checkout Will also picked out a new puzzle and board game, a tasteful one that ignited Will’s ever desire to learn and to expand his intelligence.

Once back in the car Will immediately showed Mr. Bear his new outfits and asked which he wanted to wear first. Will promptly dressed him in the mint-green Doctor’s scrubs with little matching telescope. He played with him the entire way home entertaining himself with stories of Mr. Bear taking his temperature and listening to his heart.

The sun was already beginning to set when they got home. Will was upset, knowing he had to leave to go back home soon but so happy that their final full day together for a while went so well. As they pulled into the driveway, Will spoke up.

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Can I spend every weekend I’m not working with you?”

Hannibal parked and turned around in his seat. “Do you want to?”

Will nodded. “I know I have to go home soon to be with my doggies and get ready for work tomorrow. But I wish I could stay with you.”

Will had hired someone to feed and let out his dogs for the weekend but he needed to go home and resume the responsibility, retrieve the phone he’d left there days ago, and get ready for work, finishing up a lesson plan he’d started the mid-week previous. Not to mention mentally prepare himself for the horrors he would see in the field in the coming days.

“I wish you could too, Honey. But everyone needs to be a Big Boy at some time, don’t they?”

Will nodded.

“Let’s go inside and talk some more. Hmm?”

Will nodded again, still sulking.

•••

Once inside the house Will dressed back in his adult clothes, set Mr. Bear on his own bedroom bed upstairs surrounded by his new wardrobe. He kissed the furry head of his best friend. It was always the most difficult leaving him. Taking him home would be dangerous. One of his dogs might try to tear him up again. “I’ll miss you,” Will said, his voice halfway between Little and Big.

Hannibal watched from the hallway, his heart clenching in his chest. He wished Will could stay with him forever but he had his dogs, his own house, his own life. Although they were officially romantically linked, Hannibal knew Will didn’t belong to him and he couldn’t see him every moment of every day. He had his own things to do. 

Will joined him in the hallway and they headed downstairs together for a coffee before Will hit the road.

“You still have your binkie at home?” Hannibal said taking a swig of his cup.

Will nodded. “And I’ll call you if I need you. For anything.”

“Good,” Hannibal said. He couldn’t hide the fact that he was sad to see Will go, even if it was for a couple days or even just a few hours. He had a feeling work would bring them together at sometime in the coming week but it wouldn’t be the same. He wouldn’t be able to protect him if something went wrong. With traffic they lived an hour and a half apart. He felt powerless.

Hannibal wasn’t weak. He wasn’t someone who needed validation or that yearned for someone. But all of it was true when it came to Will.

“Do you want me to read you a bedtime story before you leave?” Hannibal said. “One of the books we bought?” He was trying to prolong the moment he would have to tell Will goodbye.

“I’m not Little right now…”

“I know,” Hannibal said, staring down at his coffee, warming his palms. “I know…”

Will rubbed Hannibal’s forearm. “I’d like that.”

•••

They moved to the couch, Hannibal picked out a story about a ducky who was afraid of being separated from his family in the rain. Will, while wanting to regress, didn’t allow himself to. He had a long drive ahead of him and tasks to complete. But he relaxed against Hannibal as he read him the story, giving unique inflections to each character making Will smile and chuckle as they read along. Hannibal kissed Will’s forehead every few pages.

Once he was finished he hesitated putting the book down, knowing the weekend was officially over.

Will turned to Hannibal to press his lips against his. “I’ll call you as soon as I’m home safe.”

Hannibal nodded, kissing his lips again. “Okay.” 

 

Chapter Text

The drive home for Will was strange and emotionally painful. He wished he didn’t have to leave Hannibal’s house; a place that symbolized safety, a place where he could be exactly who he was without judgment. With Hannibal was where he could forget about life and his horrific job for a while and escape. With Hannibal he felt love and upmost adoration.

The further he drove away from Baltimore the more painful the dull emotional ache in his chest got. He wished he could call Hannibal during the drive back to Virginia but his phone was at home, where he’d left it days ago. Will couldn’t wait to hear Hannibal’s voice again, to which he was addicted.

Will busied himself on the ride home reminiscing on he and Hannibal’s weekend together. All the fun, the laughter and the tears, them breaking down their barriers and having sex for the first time. It seemed to be happening far too fast, their relationship only becoming official a mere two days ago, but it had all been building up for months.

By the time Will reached his home in Wolf Trap the sun had completely set. The ground was covered in a blanket of snow, his house floating on the sea of white. Will could see from a bit away that the lights in the house were on, his neighbor must’ve left the lights on for his dogs, for which he was grateful.

It wasn’t until Will had turned down his road and was thirty feet from his home did he realize another car was in his driveway. He immediately recognized who it belonged to.

Will parked and turned off the ignition, at the same time as the person in the other car did the same. They got out of their cars and walked toward one another.

“What are you doing here, Jack?”

The front porch lights illuminated them as they spoke.  

“I couldn’t reach you,” he said with a friendly smile. “I thought you might’ve been killed for a moment there. The business we’re in isn’t great for not jumping to macabre conclusions, is it?”

Will looked at his house and back to his boss, waiting for him to continue.

“I spoke with the neighbor up the street and he said you would be back this evening. Said you were gone all weekend. Where is your phone? I’ve been calling you incessantly.”

“I left it here Thursday,” Will said. “Was in a hurry that morning, left it behind.”

“And you haven’t been back since? Where were you?”

Will rocked back and forth on his heels, tongue in cheek, annoyance crawling up through his chest, careful not to lash out.

“That’s…with due respect, none of your business.” His lips pressed into a thin line.

“Fair enough,” Jack said stepping closer. “I came to apologize. I know I’ve been putting insane amounts of pressure on you. I’m sorry. I spoke with Hannibal and he insists you’re not mentally fit enough for the field. But I’ll leave that decision up to you.”

“I spoke with Hannibal as well. I’m coming back to the field, Jack. Don’t worry. I’ll manage. I can handle it.”

Jack released the breath he’d been holding. “That’s a relief. I do however want you to continue seeing Doctor Lecter for bi-weekly sessions.” A moment of silence followed before Jack was speaking up again. “He seems very protective of you.”

“He’s protective of all his patients,” Will deflected. “Doesn’t want one of them flying off the rails and tarnishing his professional name.”

Jack nodded. “Yeah, you’re probably right. We’re going to need all the help we can get tomorrow morning.”

“I lead a lecture at nine.”

“Well afterward come immediately to my office and we’ll head up the scene. Big case was opened back up. We’re going to need your expertise.”

“What case?”

“What do you know about the Chesapeake Ripper?”

“Not as much as you’d assume. I’ve lectured on him, or her, or they. But they haven’t struck in what…two years, right?”

“A body was found. We think the murder happened around Friday morning. It matches the aesthetic of the other victims from the Ripper. We just discovered it a few hours ago.”

“Is the body still there?”

“It hasn’t been moved. I was hoping you would come take a look. I didn’t want the scene disturbed in case you decided to…”

“I’ll be there,” Will said. A lump in his throat.

“Excellent. I’ll see you then.” Jack gave a curt nod and got back into his car, driving away.

Will immediately headed for his front door. The barking from inside started up the moment his foot hit the lowest step. He excitedly opened the door and knelt to greet his pups. “Hey!” He beamed ruffling all of their fur. “I missed you!” He kissed the side of all seven of their faces. “Who’s hungry? Huh? Come on! Let’s get some treats.”

Will fed his dogs and went to his room to charge his dead phone. As soon as there was enough juice he laid down on the bed and called Hannibal, making sure to keep the phone attached and charging.

“Hello?”

Hannibal’s accent was one of Will’s favorite parts of him. That simple greeting warming his entire body.

“Hey, I made it home safe,” he said softly.

“That’s great to hear, Honey. I was worried.”

“I hit a bout of traffic downtown but I’m here now. About to make a light dinner and finish up my lesson plan. Hit the sack early. You know Jack was here when I drove up?”

“What was he there for?”

“To check on me. After I charged my phone I had sixteen missed calls,” he chuckled. “Who knows how many after the phone died.”

“What did he proposition you with?” Hannibal knew Jack all too well.

“He wanted to talk to me about a new case. He gave me a choice and I told him I’m going back into the field. I know you don’t like it.”

“I understand,” Hannibal sighed, not annoyed but defeated. “You’re very admirable.”

A silence filled the space on the phone. Will knew Hannibal wanted him to quit and go back to teaching full time, but it wasn’t his decision. He loved how protective Hannibal got but in the end, he couldn’t tell Will what to do.

Hannibal exhaled audibly.

“I already miss you,” Will said.

“I missed you the moment you left, Will.”

“I wish you could be here. I want you to hold me. I don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight. I’ve gotten so used to your body next to mine.”

“When you get ready for bed, give me another call. Okay?”

Will nodded. “Yeah, okay.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

•••

Will made himself soup from a can paired with some saltines, a meal that would’ve had Hannibal rolling his eyes. He had let the dogs out to stretch their legs while he ate, they were masters of begging. While Will ate he finished up his lesson plan and afterwards took a shower and began to settle in for bed. His dogs back inside and in their own beds or curled on the rug by the unlit fireplace. 

He dressed in a simple grey t-shirt and pajama bottoms. He fetched his pacifier from his sock drawer and crawled into bed. It was going to be strange sleeping without his diaper. He’d gotten so used to falling asleep with it on over the past few days. He was already mourning the soft warm padding between his legs.

Will didn’t have Mr. Bear so he used one of his pillows to squeeze and hold. He rest his pacifier on the pillow as he dialed Hannibal.

Will was still feeling Big but he could feel the sudden sinking sensation of regressing. He was very close already.

Hannibal answered after the second ring.

“Hey, Baby, are you in bed?” Hannibal said, his voice so soft Will could actually cry.

“Yeah.”

“You don’t have to say anything, Honey. Put your paci in and just listen. Can you do that for me?”

“Okay, Daddy,” Will sighed. He placed his binkie into his mouth and clutched his pillow, closing his eyes and listening to the phone on speaker from it’s space on top of the padding.

Hannibal put on a CD, the very same that he’d played during nap time Saturday evening after the grocery store fiasco. The sound already made Will begin to feel very sleepy. He wished Daddy was with him. He whined so softly Hannibal wasn’t able to pick up on it.

“Go to sleep, baby boy.” Hannibal’s voice was faint over the music and Will clung to his words but was slowly losing his battle with consciousness. “Daddy is right there beside you. I’ll protect you. I love you, baby.”

Will sucked softly on his paci, listening to Hannibal’s words. I love you too, Daddy. He pretended he could hear it. Slowly his sucks on his binkie became less urgent and he was slipping into unconsciousness.

A hundred miles away in Baltimore, Hannibal stayed on the line for almost thirty minutes until he was sure Will had fallen asleep. “I love you, Honey.”

Hannibal hung up and turned in his own bed pulling Mr. Bear to his chest. He ducked his face to the top of the stuffie’s head. He smelled of Will. He clung to the stuffed animal. It brought him peace and it was almost as if Will were laying right beside him. Soon, he was asleep as well. 

Chapter Text

Will woke the next morning in a haze, arm stretched out reaching for someone who wasn’t there. He was disoriented, having spent the first night in his own bed for three days. His eyes flickered open and he came to the realization he was at his own house, and alone.

He clutched his pillow tightly against him, continuing to suckle on his pacifier with his eyes closed waiting for his alarm to go off. The sun had begun to rise, he didn’t have much time left but he was trying to enjoy his last moments before being forced out of the comfort of his Little mindset and being jarringly thrust into whatever horrors lie ahead.

His dogs would be up soon. They always woke at the same time every morning as if their consciousnesses were directly connected to the height of the sun in the sky. They were his alarm clock.

Will braced himself for it, milking his final moments of half-unconscious bliss. He fantasized about Hannibal waking up and rolling over to greet him as he had the past few days, kissing his forehead and greeting him with a warm smile. Daddy. I love my Daddy.

Will heard one of his dogs stand and shake their fur causing a chain reaction of the other dogs to do the same. Will whined, hiding his face in his pillow, attempting to ignore it but when one of the dogs hopped up onto his bed to lick his hand and Will heard the nails of another pup scratching against the front door from the across the room he sat up with a groan.

He pulled his binkie out snapping it back into it’s cap and stumbled across the room to put it back into his sock drawer.

“C’mon,” He cooed at his dogs walking toward the front door. “Everyone outside.”

He opened the door to the chill of winter air licking at his exposed skin. His dogs jet out onto the snow covered ground to run and empty their bladders. Will kept the front door open as he hobbled to the shower to warm up as the dogs took care of their business. By the time Will was out of the shower and dressed the dogs were back inside waiting for breakfast. He fed and watered them before setting his own coffee pot to begin brewing.

He collected his phone from the nightstand, not wanting to forget it again. He was about to slip it into his pocket when he saw he had a text message. It was from Hannibal, sent ten minutes previous while he was in the shower.

‘Good morning, Baby. I hope you have a good day. I love you.’

It was so generic and yet it put a smile on Will’s face. Will hoped he would be able to see Hannibal soon. He had a therapy appointment with him the next day but he hoped he didn’t have to wait that long.

Will sent back a simple ‘I love you’ and went to pour himself a tall mug of coffee.

•••

Will’s morning commute was mundane and his Monday morning lecture went by successfully. He’d almost forgotten where he needed to be afterward. He bid a farewell to his students as he collected their essays on their way out of the lecture hall.

“How was your weekend, Professor Graham?” A kind-faced blonde female student asked with a smile on her way past him.

“It was wonderful, thank you,” Will smiled tight-lipped.

He took the essays and slid them into his accordion case to grade later and headed immediately to Jack’s office across campus. He’d been having a good day up until then. As he walked he gave himself a pep talk.

He could do this. He was capable. He needed to put others above himself.

“Hello, Will,” Jack said, turning as he entered the room.

Will nodded curtly. “Jack.” He dropped his bag in the nearest seat and joined his boss by the cork board covered in photographs.

“Are these…”

“The Ripper’s presumed victims, Yeah. You’ll see what we mean when you see the body. This killer, it’s the same person. I’m sure of it. Study these.” He gestured flippantly to the photos and files. “I’ll be back soon and we’ll head there.”

•••

Jack drove while Will sat in the passenger’s seat. They sat in silence for a while when Will’s phone vibrated in his pocket.

A text from Hannibal. Will made sure to angle the phone away from Jack, not wanting to risk him seeing anything.

‘How are you, sweetheart?’

A smile tugged at Will’s lip. ‘I’m okay. We’re on our way to the scene now.’

‘If you need me, please call. I’m booked full with patients today but I’ll return your call as soon as I can.’

‘I will.’ Will’s heart was bursting knowing Hannibal was worried about him. Will sent another text. ‘I’ll pretend you’re there with me. You make me feel brave.’

‘The key is to not internalize. Pretend you’re looking at a photograph. Can you do that?’

‘Yeah.’

‘My next patient is here, Honey. I’ll talk to you later. Be my big brave boy.’

Will nodded. He was going to be Daddy’s very best brave boy.

•••

The body was pristine, only a few simple cuts around the abdomen, neck, and back. There wasn’t much blood, which made Will’s job very easy. He smiled to himself when he didn’t immediately panic, maybe he was capable of continuing field work.

Will closed his eyes and delved into that mental place, piecing back together how the person was murdered, taking the viewpoint of the killer himself. When Will came back to reality an uneasy feeling blanketed him but he couldn’t put his finger on it. However, he was fine, no panic attack, no breakdown, no need for anyone’s help.

“This was Ripper,” Will confirmed. “This murder…feels the same as the ones in the past.” There wasn’t a doubt in his mind, the same person whose murders he studied on the wall in Jack’s office also committed this atrocity. “He’s back.”

Jack clapped him on the back, a silent gesture telling Will he was proud of him. “Let’s move him to autopsy,” he commanded of his crew. They quickly got to work on the body to transport it back to headquarters.

During the autopsy they discovered the man’s body was missing its kidneys. Everyone threw in their two cents on why they thought that was but Will knew. Whomever the Ripper was, was a cannibal. He shared the theory with Jack.

“He’s eating them.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“I saw it. When I was in that place in my head. He killed the man for sport. He cut in the exact places he needed to in order to kill fast and remove the organs. The woman from The Ripper’s last murder, nearly two years ago, her liver was removed but was sewn back in. She had liver cancer. The meat was tainted.”

Will sat down on the nearest chair hiding his face in his hands. Speaking of all of this out loud made him dizzy and sick. He’d been doing so well up until then. He needed Hannibal. He needed his Daddy.

“Thank you, Will, for all your help today. You can go if you need to. I can see this is getting to you…”

“No it’s okay,” Will said attempting to stand but gripping the chair with all his might to keep from collapsing. “I can stay.”

“No,” Jack said. “No you can’t. Go home. That’s an order.”

Will hated being weak, hated not being able to do something and having to quit. Everything had been going so well. The day was perfect. He had interpreted the evidence and discovered something everyone had overlooked. He’d done his job and done it well. His faults just had to catch up with him.

Will got to his car and sat for a moment. His first instinct was to drive to Hannibal’s office, he would be finished with patient appointments soon. But doing that would cause Will’s feeling of helplessness to grow. He needed to soothe himself, not rely on Hannibal all the time to do it for him.

He loved Hannibal. But he didn’t want to lean on him so much that he had Hannibal becoming annoyed with his neediness.

Will wanted to see him, have him hold him, help him revert and talk to him in ways only Hannibal could. He wanted to feel Hannibal’s kisses against his pacifier. His hand on his tummy caressing softly under his soft cotton t-shirt. He wanted to hear Hannibal’s praise telling him he was a good brave boy while smoothing the hair back from his face.

But that was wrong, all of it was so wrong. Once again, he wasn’t supposed to want things like that. He was a grown man, he was supposed to be able to complete his job without having to take a break to compose himself. He was supposed to be able to get along by himself and not need someone else’s guidance. He was a failure and an embarrassment to the FBI and to himself. He was pathetic.

Will screamed, slamming his palms up against the steering wheel before breaking down sobbing into his hands. It took some time for his tears to subside and when he composed himself he drove home, back to Wolf Trap. He turned in for an early night, negating the pacifier in the drawer. He tossed and turned for a while but eventually he fell asleep without it for the first time in months.

Will awoke hours later drenched in sweat and hyperventilating. In his dream he had been shadowed by a large humanesque creature with stag horns, the creature’s arms were holding him down as he cried for Hannibal’s help, but no help came.

Then the creature draped himself over Will and Will tried to free himself and push back but the closer the creature got the more Will relaxed. “Don’t eat me,” Will pleaded to the faceless creature looming over him.

The creature got close enough to Will that he was able to wrap his arms around his body, holding Will tightly against him in a loving hug. The touch felt familiar and Will gripped the shadow back. The creature spoke softly into Will’s ear in a voice he knew very well. “It’s me, baby. Daddy’s here.”

Will gripped the pillow next to him trying to slow his breath, staring up at the ceiling, trying to make sense of it all.

 

Chapter Text

Will got up and into his car immediately, not bothering to look at the time, to think about what he was doing, or to grab his phone. The freeway was wide open and he sped, as if daring the cops to pull him over. Maybe a police escort wasn’t such a bad idea for where he was headed.

Will was no longer confused, no longer dazed, he was as clearheaded as he’d been in a long time. And he wanted answers. For all he knew he was speeding toward his own murder in the dead of the night.

He tried not to think too deeply about it or internalize it, wanting to give Hannibal a chance to explain himself before he damned him. For all Will knew, he could be wrong. His subconscious mind could be playing tricks on him. But all the evidence pointed in Hannibal’s direction.

In a little over an hour Will reached Hannibal’s house. He knocked a few times and waited, rocking back and forth on his heels. He shivered in the cold, he’d run out of the house in only a t-shirt and boxers. Nobody answered the door. Will rang the doorbell twice. Will braced himself for whatever would soon happen.

Will had an entirely thought out and rehearsed speech and accusation planned but the moment the door opened and he saw Hannibal’s sleepy face, Will faltered and reached for him in a hug. Hannibal accepted it, confused and half awake, clutching to Will and shushing him softly, petting his hair.

Hannibal tugged Will into his home shutting the door behind them, rubbing his arms attempting to warm him up in their embrace. “What’s wrong?”

Will whimpered, not wanting any of what he dreamt of or realized to be true. He couldn’t bring himself to say anything. It would ruin them, he was sure of it. He didn’t want to lose Hannibal or have him turn against him. Hannibal was Will’s everything. Ignorance was bliss and Will considered for a moment keeping quiet and pretending like he didn’t know a thing.

When Will didn’t answer Hannibal brought him into the other room and sat him down while he started a fire in the fireplace on the other side of the den. Will observed him while he lit the fire and walked back over to him immediately going to sit next to him on the couch to hold his hands.

Hannibal could tell Will wasn’t regressed but he was still in a soft and needy state. He tread the line carefully and expertly, not wanting to offend Will or upset him.

“Why are you here so late?” Hannibal cooed, tucking a strand of hair behind Will’s ear. “I called you twice last night but you must’ve fallen asleep early. Jack told me he sent you home. He said you did very well at the scene. I’m proud.” Hannibal smiled warmly.

Will continued to stare down at his own hands trying to find the courage.

“Hannibal…” he said under his breath.

He knew it was serious when Will said his first name.

“Hmm?”

“Did you kill that man?” Will’s eyes flicked up to gauge Hannibal’s reaction.

Hannibal’s face held stoic but on the inside he was breaking down, and fast. He was terrified; terrified of losing Will, of losing everything. Of being tossed in prison for the rest of his life, away from everything he knew, away from Will.

Hannibal always knew Will would eventually figure it out. See him for what he really was. Will Graham was the smartest person Hannibal had ever met.

He considered lying, for just a moment, but what good would that do? This was the end, Hannibal was certain. Once Will knew, he would hate him. Who would be able to love a monster? Will would never be able to trust him again.

Hannibal held his breath and nodded so minutely if Will had blinked he would’ve missed it. Hannibal’s eyes were full of tears, one streamed down his cheek and he quickly bat it away. Hannibal never let anyone see his strong emotions.

Will exhaled. He knew it. “Are you going to hurt me?”

“No,” Hannibal said. “No, I could never hurt you.” He tried to pet Will’s face but he tugged away and continued staring down but didn’t make a move to really distance himself.

“You’re the Ripper? Why? Why did you kill all those people?” Will’s voice was shaky.

“It’s complicated,” Hannibal said, speaking very slow. “I would have to tell you everything. Spanning back decades.” He hesitated before asking the next question, petrified of the answer. “Do you hate me?”

Will shook his head. “No.” He looked up and into Hannibal’s teary eyes. “Unless this was all a lie. You haven’t been buttering me up for something, have you?”

Hannibal shook his head. “No. No. I love you,” He said, wiping more tears from his eyes as they spilled. “I was done. I wasn’t going to do it anymore after this weekend. I wanted to be better, for you.”

“You killed someone Friday morning,” Will said. “After I left.”

Hannibal nodded. “He was going to be the last. I swear to you. I never wanted you to discover this.”

“Is that why you were trying to push me out of field work? So I wouldn’t figure it out?”

Hannibal nodded.

“Does Jack know?”

Will shook his head. “Nobody knows. Except me.”

“Are you going to tell him?”

“If I do, they’ll take you away from me. Won’t they?” Will gripped Hannibal’s hands in his. “I can’t have that.”

Hannibal let out a choked sob and grabbed Will’s face and brought his lips to his own. Will didn’t kiss back much, but allowed the embrace. He clutched Will’s body close. “I’m so sorry,” Hannibal said, nuzzling against Will. “I’m…a monster. Please don’t go. Please don’t.” He held Will hard against him. His tears were dying against Will’s curls.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Will said, surprising even himself with the overwhelming need to stay close to Hannibal. Even contemplating life without Hannibal was painful. “But you have to stop.”

“I will,” Hannibal cried. “I’ll do anything.”

Will nodded in their embrace, clinging to the man he loved. He didn’t understand why but he couldn’t hate Hannibal, no matter how hard he tried. He was a part of him and that wasn’t going away anytime soon.

Will always said he put others before himself, it was why he was in the business he was in. To find a killer, and stop them. To save lives. Putting his own mental sanity at stake in the process. And if being with Hannibal stopped him from killing, from wanting to be a better man, then he was doing his job. He was preventing murders. And placating his own love all at the same time.

“Tell me. I want to know why you do it.”

Hannibal explained everything in rich detail. From his traumatic childhood, to his early adulthood in Italy, up until that very moment.

“I never cared about my death or my freedom,” Hannibal said, holding and stroking Will’s cheeks. “Not until you. Nothing mattered. Until this. This weekend changed everything. I couldn’t bear to leave you, or lose you. Being locked away from you would be a worse sentence than death itself.”

Will kissed him. He should be scared of him but oddly enough he felt more safe in his arms than anywhere else, even with the new realization.

Maybe it was okay to be reliant on Hannibal, because Hannibal was reliant on him too.

When he said he was going to stop, Will trusted him. He could see in his eyes and hear in his voice how terrified he was of losing him. Hannibal’s backstory made sense, but it still didn’t give him an excuse to take innocent lives. And while Will was conditioned to detest murderers, this one already had his heart.

“I’m going to lead Jack and everyone away from you. I’m going to say I made a mistake and that it was a copycat. But if you kill anyone again, it’s over.”

Hannibal nodded, understanding and believing Will. Killing people and cannibalizing a part of them had been a part of Hannibal since he was young, the thrill it gave him was unlike anything else.

But Will Graham had taken it’s place. He could lose the killing, but he couldn’t lose Will. Without Will, he would promptly die.

“Are you scared of me now?” Hannibal said.

Will shook his head.

Hannibal gathered Will in his arms and situated them on the couch together so they were both laying down. He kissed Will’s forehead and Will nuzzled against him. “I won’t kill for sport,” Hannibal said in a voice so soft it sent a tingle down Will’s spine. “But I won’t hesitate to protect you.”

Will had never felt more safe or comfortable in someone’s arms. This was where he was meant to be. As unorthodox as it was. Their hearts were connected by a copper string, impossible to untether.

They balanced a tightrope together and if one fell, the other would too. As long as they were together, clinging to one another for stability, nothing could do them any harm.

 

Chapter Text

Will and Hannibal fell asleep clinging to one another on the couch in front of the fireplace. Will’s face was nuzzled into Hannibal’s neck and Hannibal’s arms were wrapped around Will holding him impossibly close. Nobody could pry Will from his arms if they tried.

Their tears and emotions drained them both and all they cared about was being together. They would’ve slept through the entire morning if Hannibal’s inner clock wasn’t set to wake up at the exact same time every morning.

He stirred right as the new day was starting, the glint of sun was peaking through the exposed parts of the window the den curtain couldn’t quite cover. The room was dim, the fire had almost completely burnt out. It took a moment for Hannibal to register where he was and why he’d fallen asleep on the couch.

He turned just slightly and saw Will, his head resting on the top of Hannibal’s shoulder, his eyes shut tight still lost in sleep. The back of Hannibal’s knuckles caressed Will’s stubbled face as he looked at him with such adoration. What had he done to deserve him? He didn’t deserve such loyalty, such trust, such irrevocable love from such a beautiful man. Will deserved so much better, so much more than himself.

All at once Hannibal had a fleeting thought of giving himself up to authorities and admitting his crimes, both past and present. If he did, he wouldn’t be putting Will in danger of being caught by protecting him, assuring a prison sentence for himself in the process. Plus, he would assure Will was safe away from him, and able to find someone else to love. Someone who didn’t have so much baggage and such a macabre and disturbing past.

As badly as Hannibal wished he had the strength and courage to give himself up, and as strongly as he knew it was the right thing to do, he couldn’t bear the thought of being without Will. If he was locked up, who would be around to care for Will when he was at his most vulnerable. Who would be there to hold Will’s hand through this hell pit of a life?

He swore to be on his very best behavior, no matter the temptation. Hannibal wouldn’t so much as stub someone else’s toe if it meant he could keep Will as his own. He would do anything for Will Graham.

Hannibal lay awake with Will for half an hour observing him and lost in his own thoughts. Eventually he remembered it was a workday for them both and he shook his love softly, jostling him a tiny bit.

“Will, It’s morning,” his voice was soft and smooth.

Will moaned disapprovingly and nuzzled into Hannibal’s night shirt, his eyes remaining closed.

“Honey, you need to get up for work. It’s Tuesday.”

Will righted his head to look up at him, his eyes flickering open. The sun had filled up more of the room but it was still dark in that early-morning-glow way. He remembered his realization in the night and talking to Hannibal about everything for over an hour, learning about his past, giving him the ultimatum, deciding to help cover Hannibal’s tracks. For a moment he felt scared looking into Hannibal’s eyes, but upon seeing the softness there in his expression he calmed. Hannibal would never hurt him. He knew that much.

“Can’t we call in sick?” Will said, petting Hannibal over his shirt, a slight pout on his lips.

Hannibal shook his head. “No, baby,” He kissed Will’s forehead. “I have the most appointments today and I’m sure Jack needs you.”

Will nodded in understanding, though he was upset about it. “What are you doing for lunch?”

Hannibal smiled. “What did you have in mind?”

Will was beginning to regress already, fading out and retreating from wanting to go to work, but he refused to allow himself to. Once he slipped in it was very difficult to slip back out again. He hoped Hannibal would allow him to regress during lunch.

“Can I join you at your office?” Lunch was about six hours away and he was already missing him although he was still snug in his arms.

Hannibal nodded. “Of course. I take lunch between noon and one. Can you make that?”

Will nodded. He would try his damndest. They kissed before getting up and getting ready for their days.

•••

At work Will immediately went to Jack’s office to lie and explain that he’d made a mistake.

“It’s not The Ripper,” Will said sitting down across the desk from his boss. “It’s a copycat.”

“You’re sure?” Jack said, taking a deep swig from his morning coffee. He rubbed at his temples.

“I’m positive,” Will said with a nod. “There was no motive, this copycat killed for sport. The scene was practically gift-wrapped. The Ripper’s murders were never so thought out, never took place in a private location. Not to mention, they were much bloodier…”

“Okay,” Jack said.

“This is a good thing,” Will said. “For all we know, The Ripper could’ve passed away, skipped country. This copycat should be easy to track down.”

Jack nodded. “Very well. I’ll relay your message to Price and Zeller, get them to focus on separate clues instead of trying to tie it back to old Ripper cases. You’re doing an excellent job, Will. Thank you.”

Will smiled with a nod. He was never very gifted at lying but he was getting good, if it meant protecting the man he loved.

He got up to leave the office. “Am I required for the rest of the day, sir?”

Jack shook his head. “No. Thank you. We’ll need you back tomorrow morning after your lecture but you can enjoy the rest of your day off. We’ll fill you in on anything we find.”

Will nodded in understanding. “Have a good day, Jack.”

“You as well.”

Will walked to his Tuesday lecture, keen on getting through it so he could head to Hannibal’s office for lunch afterward. The lecture was a tedious one, his regression loomed over him as he spoke to his class, asking their opinions on certain cases and leading discussions. All he wanted to talk about was Mr. Bear and his Daddy but instead he was stuck talking about blood vessels and partial decapitations. As soon as he was out he breathed a sigh of relief. A lecture room with scary photos was nowhere for an age-regressed man.

He listened to the radio on the way to Hannibal’s, listening to DJs talking to one another and enjoying playful banter. Will focused on their words, denying his regression until he was stopped at Hannibal’s office.

He pulled in and immediately ran to the door, a skip in his step. Surely Hannibal was expecting him to arrive Little. Will had given him the signs just that morning of what he wanted.

Hannibal opened the front door with a warm smile.

“Daddy!” Will squealed, rushing Hannibal and hugging him tight.

Hannibal chuckled holding his boy against him, smoothing his curls and rocking them back and forth together. “Hey,” He cooed. “How has your day been so far?”

Will wanted to tell Daddy about how he lied to Jack but decided that he didn’t ever want to taint their dynamic and bring that kind of thing up while he was Little. “It was good! How has yours been?”

“So polite,” Hannibal said softly, kissing Will’s forehead. “It’s been busy and a bit stressful around here but now I have you, so I’m much better.”

Will giggled. “Did you bring lunch for us?”

“I did,” Hannibal said, leading Will into the actual office through the waiting room.

The door opened and Will gasped running immediately to the couch in the center of the room. “Mr. Bear!” He scooped up his toy laying there and squeezed him with all his might. “Oh, Daddy, thank you for bringing him!” He hadn’t seen his favorite toy since Sunday evening and had been missing him terribly.

Hannibal sat down on the couch next to Will and kissed the forehead of his beaming boy again. “Anything for you, Honey.” He caressed Will’s face with his two thumbs on either side. “Now do you want to go immediately to eating lunch or do you want me to dress you first?”

“Dressed first!”

“Okay, stand up and let’s get you out of these grown up clothes.” Hannibal helped Will undress and brought over the duffle bag he’d hidden under his desk. He had Will lay on the chaise longue while he diapered him and put him in a pair of blue cotton shorts and t-shirt with a froggy on it. “There we are,” Hannibal cooed, kissing Will’s nose. “Doesn’t he look very handsome, Mr. Bear?”

Will giggled.

Hannibal helped Will up and brought him to his desk where he’d laid out a very healthy lunch for the two of them. Wheat crackers, skim cheeses, thin slices of meat, and cut up strawberries with water and sugar free apple juice. “Star-berries!” Will gasped upon seeing his very favorite fruit.

“That’s right,” Hannibal said, running his finger’s through Will’s curls.

Will blushed and kissed Daddy’s nose. They ate together and by the time they were finished half of their time was up. Will got very sad. He didn’t want to leave Hannibal’s office and go back home or to campus. He wanted to stay the rest of the night but Daddy had patients.

Hannibal could sense Will shutting down, knowing their time as Daddy and Little was coming to an end for the day. He had an idea.

“Do you want to stay here while Daddy finishes up appointments? I have five more before we can go home and play some more but you have to be very quiet.”

“But Daddy that’s ‘llegal,” Will pouted. Even Little Will knew doctor patient confidentiality was a serious issue and nobody was supposed to listen in on psychiatry appointments.

“It’s not, if nobody hears you. You can even nap if you want. Hmm?” He tucked a strand of Will’s hair behind his ear.

Will nodded. He wasn’t ready to go home or get back in his big adult clothes. He wanted to stay where Daddy was.

Hannibal held Will’s hand and took him around to the elevator that took them up to the second story balcony of the room. Hannibal used the second story balcony to keep his books and journals but there was also a little lounge mat up there right next to a big window. Will gasped when he saw Hannibal had already set up the area with coloring books and quiet soft toys as well as his pacifier in it’s case and a blanket and pillow on the lounge mat. “Can you stay up here with Mr. Bear and be a very good silent boy while Daddy talks to his patients for the next few hours?”

Will nodded. He would be very good for his Daddy.

 

Chapter Text

Hannibal stayed with Will on the mezzanine for a while before his lunch hour was through. They curled up together on the mat by the window and Hannibal read Will one of the picture books he’d bought him a couple days prior. This one was about a Porcupine who couldn’t find a bathing suit that would fit him properly and he was very sad because he wanted to go swimming with his friends.

Will rest his head on Hannibal’s shoulder suckling on his pacifier as his Daddy read to him, pointing at the pictures of the book he liked the most and giggling around his paci at the funny bits. He held Mr. Bear in his lap and occasionally lifted his toy to have him leave a furry soft kiss on Hannibal’s cheek. Hannibal would thank Mr. Bear after every one of his kisses.

“Such a sweet little stuffie you have there, Honey. So affectionate. Just like his Daddy,” Hannibal said kissing Will’s forehead. Will always found it very funny when Hannibal referred to him as Mr. Bear’s Daddy. He was far too Little to be anyone or any thing’s Daddy.

Hannibal finished up the book and helped Will color for a few minutes before his watch alarm was going off.

“Okay, Honey, remember what I said. You need to stay very quiet up here while I take appointments. If you make any noises Daddy could get in a lot of trouble. Okay?” He scratched softly on the back of Will’s neck tugging a bit on his brown curls.

Will nodded, pulling his paci out to confirm he heard him. “Yes, Daddy. Me and Mr. Bear will both be very good boys.”

“Superb,” Hannibal smiled kissing Will on the tip of his nose. “Between each patient I’ll have a ten minute break but you mustn’t bother Daddy during that time either. That time is very important. It’s for note-taking for the previous patient and refreshing myself on the next patient’s file. Do you understand?”

“Be very quiet even when nobody else is here,” Will nodded. “Got it!”

“What an intelligent boy,” Hannibal praised, kissing his forehead again. “You can even nap if you need, okay?”

Will nodded.

“I trust you to be on your best behavior. Mr. Bear, you’re in charge. If Will is naughty, it’s you who will be punished. Understood?”

Will made Mr. Bear nod.

Hannibal’s heart ached looking at Will and seeing his sweet Little smile. He hated leaving him even if they were going to be in the same room. He was missing him as though they were going to be on separate continents.

“Once I’m finished here we can go home.”

A look passed over Will’s face, a fleeting glance of Adult Will that spoke without him having to say a word. His brow scrunched over Hannibal’s sentence. ‘We can go home’. Whose home? Hannibal’s home or his own?

Hannibal had only visited his home in Wolf Trap once but all Will’s Little things and even his very own Little room were at Hannibal’s. Of course he had meant his own, but it got Will thinking.

He found himself wondering if Hannibal would ever be willing to spend the weekend at his home in Virginia. It would be a drastic step down from his upper-class home in Baltimore, not to mention the added stress of the dogs.

Will hated leaving them for long periods of time. The neighbor always took great care of them while he was away but relying on someone else to take care of his own pets was tiring and upsetting. He made the mental note to ask Hannibal if he would consider spending even just one night at his home instead.

Hannibal caught the look and nodded in a way that said ‘we’ll talk about whatever it is you’re thinking about later’. Will smiled meekly in response, he knew Hannibal’s memory was a steal trap and they would surely discuss everything in the future.

“What are we going to do at home, Daddy?” Will put his paci back in, signaling an end of the conversation, to make sure Hannibal knew he wasn’t pushing him.

“Anything you want,” He kissed over Will’s paci causing his boy’s cheeks to blush.

•••

Hannibal went down to the lower level to prepare for his first post-lunch patient. He cleaned the desk of any evidence of he and Will’s lunch. Will had been very good and had eaten all of what he was provided, even the thin slices of meat Hannibal had passed off as ham prosciutto. Hannibal may have finished taking lives but that didn’t mean he had to let all the product he’d acquired to go to waste. His pantry was still full and he planned on savoring what he had for a long while.

He’d explained that facet of himself to Will the night before but he hadn’t asked many questions about it. Will had figured it out before confronting him and even after hearing the confession about Hannibal’s childhood and his trauma he didn’t talk or think that much about it, perhaps just trying to forget.

Will didn’t ask if he’d ever unknowingly been fed the meat, he almost completely ignored the conversation, changing the subject quickly. Hannibal planned on telling Will about his pantry at length but he didn’t want to scare him off. Have him back out of his promise to lead the FBI in the other direction. He didn’t want to begin watering the tiny seed of distrust he’d planted in Will’s body.

It was best to ignore it for the time being.

Hannibal hid the duffle bag back behind his desk and tidied up a bit more before taking a seat and beginning to read notes about his last session with his next patient.

•••

Will made himself busy with a big coloring project. He found a page in his coloring book of a Daddy and Boy dinosaur holding hands. Will thought it would be very funny to draw Hannibal’s hair on the Daddy and his own curls on the boy and color them in. It would be a good gift for Hannibal once his work was over.

He pointed at the colors he had to confer with Mr. Bear on the scheme who would nod at the colors he liked and shake his head violently at the other ones he didn’t care for.

Daddy’s first patient came in and Will tried not to listen in, but such was difficult when he was in such close proximity. The discussion started off innocent but got mature very quickly. His Daddy’s voice was soothing though, which was nice. Will focused on the sound of it and not so much his words. Whatever they were discussing was not appropriate for boys.

Will moved on his mat and his diaper crinkled a bit. He bit down hard on the paci in his mouth. Surely the soft sound wasn’t able to be heard twenty-feet below. Will covered himself with the blanket just Incase to muffle the sound so he could stretch and do as much wiggling as he wanted without having to worry about anyone hearing.

He finished his drawing and coloring just as the first patient was leaving. As soon as she walked out the door Will pulled his paci out to speak, even knowing he wasn’t supposed to.

“Daddy, I know I’m not supposed to make sound right now, but I drew you something and I wanna show you!”

“William,” Hannibal scolded gently. “I know you want to show me what you made but it’ll have to wait. Remember what we spoke of?”

“Yes, Sir,” Will pouted.

“As soon as the day is up I’m going to love looking at it. But Daddy is at work right now. Let me work.”

Will exhaled and laid down, cuddling with Mr. Bear under his blanket. He looked out the window and watched the cars drive by for a while. He didn’t realize how much time had passed until Daddy’s second patient was leaving. That one was only half as long as the one before it. Will was very bored but a little bit sleepy.

Knowing Daddy was the only one downstairs again he got up, not worried about his diaper making a sound as he padded to the bookshelf to sneak one of Daddy’s grown up books. He was very curious of what kind of things he kept in there. Maybe he had a story about the Baby Porcupine from his book’s Daddy.

He grabbed a random book and sat down near the window again to flick through it. It was a big leather bound book with yellowing pages.

There was nothing interesting or important, it was all words and most of them too big for Little Will to understand. Until he fell upon a very detailed artist’s illustration of an autopsy. Little Will gasped and shut the book quickly causing a big sound. He braced himself for Hannibal’s raised voice knowing he’d been very loud.

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” He squeaked. But he couldn’t get the image of the scary autopsy drawing out of his head and he began to shake. He wanted Daddy to hold him all of a sudden, the feeling unbearable. But Hannibal had three patients left. How was Will going to make it through. He was shivering.

Hannibal didn’t reply or even make a sound, which was odd. Will scooted and peeked over railing but Hannibal wasn’t at his desk. He wasn’t anywhere in the room.

“Daddy?” His voice echoed.

Will heard the elevator sound in the second story hallway ding and his eyes got wide bracing himself. Surely he was in trouble.

Hannibal walked over, his face wasn’t angry or stern, nor was it sweet and understanding. He looked down and saw one of his books at Will’s feet on the mat.

“Will,” he crouched down. “What were you doing with this?” He picked it up. “Did your toys and picture books not suffice?”

Will pouted. “I’m sorry,” he whined rubbing his eye. “I was bored. I know I’m s’pose to be quiet.” His eyes began to water. “I wanted to be so good for you and show you how much of a big boy I could be. But the pictures were scary and I closed it real fast without thinking. I’m sorry.” He began to cry rocking back and forth with his arms wrapped around his knees.

Hannibal went to Will immediately, pulling him into his chest to shush him softly and pet his hair. As badly as Hannibal wanted to reprimand him he couldn’t, not when Will was in such a fragile state.

“I know,” Hannibal cooed. “I know. You were just curious and bored. What did you see?”

“I saw…a man cut open,” he shivered in Hannibal’s arms. “It was very scary.”

“My my that is scary, isn’t it?” He rocked Will back and forth.

Will nodded in their embrace.

“I only have three appointments left, okay?” He cooed. “Can you make it that long? Once the sun is nearly set Daddy should be all done,” he gave Little Will a way of telling the time by the height of the sun in the sky.

Will nodded. “Daddy, did you bring a bottle?”

Hannibal shook his head. “No, baby, I didn’t. I’m sorry. Are you still hungry?”

Will pouted but shook his head. His bottle always soothed him the very most and made him sleepy. He didn’t know how he was going to get through the rest of the day without a nap. Nap time made time go by so much faster.

 

 

Chapter Text

The rest of Daddy’s work went by very slowly for such a small and restless boy. Hannibal was on his very last patient and Will had been very good thus far, but as time went by he was yearning for attention.

Will had colored more, looked at more picture books, but was now near the window cuddling Mr. Bear under his blanket whispering to him and being whispered to in return.

“No, that’s naughty,” Will giggled. “I’m not tossing a crayon over the ledge. Daddy would be very angry if I did that. He could get in a lot of trouble, remember?”

Will pouted as he imagined Mr. Bear teasing Will for being a chicken. “I’m not a chicken! I’m a good boy and I don’t want to make Daddy upset!” A tear streamed from his eye at his favorite toy’s mean words. “Don’t be mean, Mr. Bear. I love you and I would never be mean to you!”

Mr. Bear continued to mock him. What had gotten into his very sweet best friend? He had never been mean like that before. “I’m not a chicken!” He said again before Will whipped open his blanket and grabbed two crayons and rolled them over the edge to make the twenty foot drop to the floor below feet away from where Hannibal was speaking to his patient in chairs sat opposite one another.

Will covered his mouth in a gasp after he did it. He had moved too quickly, not bothering to think before he acted, only wanting to silence Mr. Bear and prove to him that he wasn’t a chicken. Surely Daddy was going to be furious with him.

Will listened for Hannibal’s voice or his patient’s. Nobody spoke and for a moment Will thought he had succeeded in getting away with it and that nobody saw the crayons until Hannibal’s voice spoke up.

“I’m very sorry, Franklyn. I was working on an art project earlier and my tin of supplies must have knocked over. There’s a vent directly next to where I was keeping my things. Please, proceed.”

Will could hear the difference in Hannibal’s voice. His voice was laced with anger. Will cowered under his blanket.

The patient laughed, boisterous and loud, enough to shock Will and make him jump. “Quite alright,” He said. “I thought you had a ghost for a moment.”

Hannibal smiled and shook his head. “No such luck. May we proceed?”

Their session continued without another hiccup.
As soon as it was over Hannibal called Will to come downstairs, his voice passive and no longer angry sounding, but still a tad defiant and annoyed.

“William, you can come down now.”

Daddy only called him William when he was in trouble or acting up.

“But, Daddy I can’t go in the ‘levator alone,” he gathered up his blanket and Mr. Bear holding both to his chest.

“Yes you can, just get in and press the button with the big number One on it.” He was sat at his desk again taking notes on his last patient’s session.

“But, Daddy, I’m scared. Can you please come up and get me and hold my hand?”

“William, you’re a big boy and you have Mr. Bear with you. You can go one floor down without me. It’ll be okay, love. Come on down.”

Will plopped to the floor and began to cry. Daddy was angry with him and he hadn’t meant to be bad and throw crayons. “I’m sorry,” Will cried. “I’m sorry I was bad. I didn’t mean to be.”

Will cried into Mr. Bear’s fur when he heard the elevator ding and heard footsteps making their way toward him. He looked up and saw Hannibal staring down at him. “I’m sorry,” he whined again.

Hannibal knelt beside Will moving the hair from his face. “It was my fault,” he said. “I was careless and should’ve known better than to expect you to be quiet when you’re so Little, honey.”

“You sounded so angry when the crayons fell.”

“I was,” Hannibal said. “But I was more angry with myself. I could’ve lost my license if more had been done. It was my own lack of caution that would’ve caused that. It wasn’t your fault. Daddy is a bit stupid sometimes.” He smiled sadly.

“You’re not stupid, Daddy,” Will said wiping his nose with the back of his sleeve. “You’re the smartest Daddy ever. And you look really handsome and pretty in your work suit,” he giggled hiding his face in Mr. Bear’s fur. Hannibal did indeed look dapper in his work attire, it made Will’s love and crush on the man flourish even more.

Hannibal kissed Will’s nose. “Thank you, sweet boy.”

“Daddy am I going to be punished for being a naughty boy?” Will said, looking down ashamed.

Hannibal started to shake his head until he and Will’s eyes met briefly. Did Will want him to punish him? “Do you think you deserve to be punished, Honey?”

Will paused before nodding. “I was bad.”

“You were. What punishment do you think is fitting for what you did?” Hannibal often gave Will a choice for his own punishment. It was a good trusting exercise and to test just how old and delicate Will was feeling.

Will whispered his answer under his breath.

“What was that?” Hannibal could barely hear him.

“Spanks, Daddy?”

••• [s]

Hannibal held Will’s hand and took him down in the elevator in silence. He walked them both over to the couch in the center of the room near the windows and sat them both down on it.

Hannibal had spanked Will before but never after he and Will’s relationship had turned sexual. He was curious of it the dynamic would change because of it. Whatever was meant to happen, would. Anything that felt awkward or too much would swiftly come to a halt. Hannibal and Will were very good at gauging how they felt together, neither worried to say a thing in fear of upsetting the other. Their communication was top notch.

“Stand up, Honey,” Hannibal said. Will stood between his legs and Hannibal undressed his bottom half, sliding down his blue cotton shorts and dry diaper. “Over my lap, young man.” He said softly. He couldn’t bring himself to be too rough in words or actions when Will was so small. But he was willing to give Will anything he needed.

Will draped himself over Hannibal’s lap, comfortably planked on the couch cuddling Mr. Bear against his chest waiting for the first hit.

“I’m sorry I was bad boy, Daddy,” Will pouted.

“I know,” Hannibal said caressing Will’s soft plump behind with the back of his knuckles. “Daddy knows. But you know you can’t get away with things like that. Daddy needs to make sure you know that. There are consequences for our actions. Aren’t they?”

Will nodded. “Yes, Sir,” his voice was small and meek.

“Daddy is going to give you five smacks, okay?”

Will nodded again. “Okay.”

“Hold your teddy, Honey. Squeeze him as much as you want. Don’t be afraid to make a sound. Be as noisy as you need to be. Your only punishment is your smackies.”

Hannibal raised his hand and brought it down at medium strength against Will’s right cheek. Will lurched forward slightly and whined clutching Mr. Bear and crying softly.

“That’s it,” Hannibal said. He brought his hand down again on the opposite cheek. “Let’s spank those naughties right out. Hmm?”

Will nodded in agreement though his tears. By the third smack Will’s penis began throbbing softly against Hannibal’s dress slacks. Hannibal wasn’t finding any of what he was doing sexual until he felt Will enjoying it in such a filthy way.

He paused the spanks to break character for a moment and talk to Will. “Are you enjoying this?”

Will nodded. Hannibal bounced his thigh rubbing some friction against Will’s cock. Will whimpered. “Hmm? That feel good?” Hannibal cooed. “Two more smacks, baby.”

He brought down his hand again and Will gasped, his penis fully hard and he felt like he could let go at any moment.

He and Hannibal had never played like this before, only having been sexual twice before and only once while Will was slightly Little. This was all so new and exciting and both of them seemed to slip into their roles so easily, not an ounce of awkwardness between them.

Hannibal snacked him again for the last time and both sets of Will’s cheeks were blushing red.

“Daddy,” Will whined. Hannibal flipped Will over in his lap. He hadn’t come, which Hannibal was surprised by. He was sure that last smack would’ve done him in.

Will was still clutching Mr. Bear staring up into Hannibal’s eyes as he cradled him. Hannibal ghosted the tip of his finger down Will’s hard cock. “Daddy, my weenie is hard because of the smacks,” he pouted. “I’m a bad boy aren’t I?”

Hannibal shook his head, marveling at Will’s ability to come up with such intricate role plays and melt into his part so seamlessly. “You’re not bad, Honey. It’s natural to want to feel good.”

“It was Mr. Bear’s fault I threw the crayons,” Will explained. “He was teasing me. Maybe we should give him a spanking for being mean.”

“I agree,” Hannibal said taking Mr. Bear from Will’s arms. Here, Honey. Smack his bottom like I’ve smacked yours.”

He held Mr. Bear’s bottom up so it looked as if he was bending over facing Will.

Will playfully patted Mr. Bear’s bottom with his palm. “Bad boy,” he scolded.

“Very good,” Hannibal praised. “Oh? One moment, Mr. Bear wants to whisper me a secret.”

Hannibal held Mr. Bear’s mouth to his ear and nodded as if he were listening. “Is that so? Hmm. I suppose. That’s very mature of you.” Hannibal turned back to Will. “Honey, Mr. Bear wants to apologize. Would that be quite alright?”

Will chewed on the tip of his thumb nail and nodded. How was his toy going to apologize? “Mr. Bear wants you to close your eyes, Honey. Close your eyes for us.”

Will shut his eyes and snuggled closure to Hannibal in his grasp. “Very good. Now relax, Baby. Mr. Bear is going to apologize.”

Will waited with bated breath wondering what was going to happen when he felt the warm fur of Mr. Bear’s paw stroke his penis. Will gasped and whined softly. “Daddy?”

“Hmm?” Hannibal continued making Mr. Bear pet Will’s private area.

“This is…” Will sighed. “Very naughty.”

“Nothing naughty about it, Honey,” Hannibal explained. “It’s just Mr. Bear’s way of saying he’s sorry for getting you into trouble. Isn’t he sweet? Hmm? He wants to make you feel cute and pretty and good inside and out. He loves you, baby boy.”

Will opened his eyes to watch what was happening. Hannibal hid his own hand very well as he made the illusion of Mr. Bear petting him all on his own. Hannibal made Mr. Bear press his head down and began leaving kisses all over Will’s leaking tip.

“Oh my god,” Will whimpered, his eyes closing again as he came clutching any part of Hannibal he could find. He painted his froggie t-shirt as Hannibal continued to touch him with Mr. Bear through his orgasm, rocking up and trying in vain to get away from the soft satin touches and Hannibal’s soft soothing coos.

“That’s it,” Hannibal sighed, his mouth over Will’s ear. “Do you accept his apology, Baby?”

Will nodded. He did very much.

 

Chapter Text

Hannibal shushed Will softly, holding him against his body as his boy tried to catch his breath. His orgasm had rippled through him temporarily numbing and disabling his arms and legs, his forehead was drenched in sweat and his eyes were shut tight as he twitched and gasped through his aftershocks.

Hannibal made sure not to trivialize Will’s mind with words as he floated down, instead just consoling him through soft petting and soothing sounds until Will was ready. He smoothed Will’s sweaty curls back from his forehead and kissed the sheened skin there, running the backs of his knuckles softly down his arm.

It took a full five minutes before Will was breathing normally again and was opening his eyes, his hand immediately moving to clutch at Hannibal’s tie to run the soft material between his fingers.

He looked up at the person he trusted the very most in the world. They had never done anything like that; such in-character sexual play. It was nice. It was strangely hot. It hadn’t been planned, it had taken them both by surprise.

“Damn,” Will said, at a loss for words. He had broken from Little Space for a moment, to appropriately address what had just happened.

Hannibal nodded. “I second that notion.” He bent to join his lips against Will’s in slow a chaste kiss. “You’re so precious to me,” he whispered continuing to pet his hair. “I’d do anything for you, Honey.” He pet Will’s face before kissing him again.

Will felt like he could melt directly through Hannibal’s lap and into the couch at his love’s sweet words. Everything Hannibal had done, everything he was, was supposed to scare Will away. But how could he flee when Hannibal was everything he needed?

Those things, those flaws, while not difficult to forget, were an afterthought. Will had buried them deep in the backyard of his mind and had begun to construct a snow-white and pure gazebo with golden filigree atop it. They would sit there together in their mind palaces, putting the past behind them, weighing the negative, the horrors, deeper into the ground to hopefully never surface again.

“I don’t ever want to leave you again,” Will said in a matching whisper, his hand finding the top of Hannibal’s to gently run his fingers along his knuckles. “I don’t like being away from you. I don’t like sleeping alone,” he shook his head taking a deep breath, breathing in courage to mutter the next sentence. “You mentioned ‘home’. I want both of ours to be one and the same.” His eyes glistened up at Hannibal’s trying to gauge his reaction. “I know I have the dogs, but…”

“We’ll move,” Hannibal said, cutting him off. It didn’t take any convincing. He’d been thinking the same exact thing. He didn’t want to be apart from Will either. Each night spent without him in his bed, waking up without him, created a tear in his heart, the rip getting longer and more jagged each night they were separated. “I’ll find somewhere that will be perfect for us.” He caressed Will’s face.

They kissed again.

•••

It didn’t take Hannibal long to find a house that was perfect for both of their needs, in a little town a bit outside of Baltimore called Bethesda. 

The house was beautiful, spacious, sophisticated, two stories with a huge kitchen and pantry. A den, a living room, an exquisite dining room for entertaining guests in, four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms.

The backyard was massive with a decently sized guest house, where the dogs would stay most of the time when they weren’t exploring the yard and running around getting their well-needed exercise.

Hannibal and Will went shopping for new furnishings for the guest home to make sure Will’s dogs had the upmost comfort and care.

“Do you even like dogs?” Will said loading seven new matching doggie beds into his cart before walking over to his love. “Or are you doing this just for me?” He wrapped his arms around Hannibal’s waist and kissed his lips.

“I enjoy dogs,” Hannibal said. “I just don’t enjoy them in the family home. I’m not ashamed to say I have a compulsion for near-constant cleanliness. But they’re your pets and we will accommodate them as best as we can.”

“I’d like you to meet them again,” Will said. “Before we move in. Would you like to come stay the night at my house one day this week?”

Their new home would be ready within the week and while getting it all ready, Will had spent every night possible at Hannibal’s.

A small grimace crossed Hannibal’s face that Will caught. “Don’t wanna slum it,” he nodded. “I understand,” he let go of Hannibal to push his cart again.

“It’s not that, Baby,” Hannibal said gripping Will’s wrist. “It’s not that.”

“What is it?” Will’s voice was soft, not angry but curious.

“I have a certain way I do things, I can’t…” Hannibal was used to his tempur-pedic mattress and his bamboo sheets, his sterile-clean home and his spacious kitchen. But he could do it for one night, he supposed. It would only be once and then they would be in their new and improved home in Bethesda and he would never have to do it again. Hannibal nodded. “Okay. I’ll do it.”

“I’m not twisting your arm.”

“I’m not…”

“Really. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to.”

“I want to. I want to experience your every-day environment, before it all changes,” he cupped Will’s face in his hands. “I want to.”

Will smiled. “Tonight?”

Hannibal sighed.

“Yeah okay, tonight.”

•••

After dropping off the loot for the new house at Hannibal’s they headed to Will’s home in Wolf Trap. Hannibal had packed a light bag for the stay over. Will sat in the front passenger’s seat of Hannibal’s car which was a very rare occurrence. Their hands laced together as Hannibal drove, a classical music CD was playing through the speakers which was a stark contrast to the Disney tunes Hannibal typically played when he and Will rode together.

“Where is Little Will?” Hannibal said halfway to Will’s home. “I haven’t seen him all day.”

Will shrugged, his head resting against the seat. “I haven’t needed him today.”

Will was happy, giddy about their upcoming move. Work had been slow and was taking a backseat, no new horrors. Little Will typically came out during times of stress or when Will was feeling very jubilant, or just wanted to be coddled and cared for. He was currently between feelings, not upset but not ecstatic, nor sleepy. Little Will nearly always came out when he was sleepy.

Hannibal nodded. “And that’s just fine,” he brought Will’s hand to his mouth to kiss his knuckles. “I was just curious.”

“I know,” Will said. He knew Hannibal would never force it, or question it too intently. It was always Will’s choice when the small and fragile version of him came out to play.

Upon reaching Will’s home he sat up very excited to show Hannibal his dogs and his house. It was quaint and small and a little bit dingy but it was his. For a few days longer.

Hannibal had only visited him once months ago and not for any extended period of time. He felt himself wanting to introduce Hannibal to his home in Little Space but he resisted, wanting to regain his adult composure during the initial introduction.

They walked toward the front door together holding hands, Hannibal sneaking a kiss on Will’s cheek in their stride when the dogs began their excited barking. Will blushed. “You might want to stand back, they’ll come out all at once”, he warned once they stood up on the deck.

Will unlocked his door and all seven dogs began jumping up on Will to lick and nuzzle every part of him they could reach. “Hey guys!” Will cooed getting down to ruffle their fur and kiss some of their heads. “Go potty, go go!” He gestured for them to run out into the snow and do their business. Some of them did but some others stayed behind to get a good look at the other man on the porch.

Hannibal smiled awkwardly at the two dogs still standing there. “Hi,” he reached his hand out to try to pet them. Buster, the Jack Russell, took off but Zoe, a small white dog with an underbite, stayed allowing Hannibal to pet her, rolling over onto her back for tummy rubs.

Will smiled watching Hannibal and Zoe interact. “She likes you,” He said.

Hannibal was careful not to touch the animal with his clothing and only his skin, not wanting to get his jacket covered in fur but he scratched her tummy causing her leg to begin kicking happily. “You’re a natural,” Will praised. Hannibal smiled up at him. “She’s cute.” He was still hesitant of the bigger dogs, keeping an eye on them from afar.

Will introduced Hannibal to all the dogs by name, pointing at the ones no longer on the porch as they scampered through the crisp Virginia snow, playing and rolling around.

“Come on, I’ll show you inside while they play,” Will said holding out his hand for Hannibal. “Zoe, go potty!” She flipped around getting up onto her legs before running to join her brothers and sisters. “Good girl!” He called after her.

Hannibal was shocked at how small Will’s house was. He didn’t remember it being so tiny and cramped in comparison to his Baltimore home, their new home in Bethesda would be like a castle in comparison.

He grimaced behind Will’s back at his bed being in the middle of the front room surrounded by dog beds, the room also served as the living room. Hannibal could see from across the room all the dog hair on Will’s bed.

“Shit they were laying up here again,” Will said going to get his lint roller from the bedside table raking it over the plaid comforter. “They’re not typically allowed up but when I’m gone they like to break the rules. Can I get you a coffee?” Will said gesturing to one of the lounge chairs by the fire place.

Hannibal saw Will had already begun to pack, boxes stood up in the corner with messily written sharpie scribbles on each saying either ‘Dogs’, ‘W & H room’, and ‘LW room’.

“No, no it’s okay, Baby, I’m fine.” Hannibal’s heart rate was through the roof, being out of his element. But this was Will’s home, the man he loved. This was who he was. He would learn to love it, even if it wasn’t for very long that he had to endure it. He sat on the bed tugging Will with him.

He held Will’s face, so much trust was there in those eyes.

“You really want to be with me, don’t you?” He shook his head, still feeling as though the entire relationship were a dream.

Will nodded, wrapping his hands around Hannibal’s wrists and leaning against one of his palms. “More than anything.” He accepted Hannibal’s kiss. “I could ask you the same.”

Will Graham was a mess compared to Hannibal Lecter, an absolute mess. He wasn’t sophisticated or a great cook, he didn’t know how to read music or play an instrument, he didn’t know how to hold a classy conversation. He was a fisherman who had a tiny little house in the middle of nowhere covered in dog fur, and he had more mental issues than he could count on two hands. Why did this man, as faulted as he was, want anything to do with him?

“With the risk of sounding ridiculously corny. There isn’t anybody else I would want to walk through this life with,” Hannibal said. “I don’t want you to ever have to question what you mean to me.”

Will nodded. “Sometimes I don’t feel good enough, or that you’re annoyed with me. With my need to…regress.”

Hannibal shook his head. “Never,” he kissed him. “Never.”

Will smiled their embrace.

“I should let the dogs back in before they catch cold,” Will said getting up to open the door for his pups.

Once all pups were in they all circled around Hannibal sniffing his legs and hands, some of them giving him kisses. Hannibal pet them all, sighing as his slacks were covered in fur in no time at all. He no longer cared, just wanting to show Will how good he could be with his pets.

“Come get food, dinner time!” Will called from the back of the house where the kitchen was. Hannibal got up with a sore grunt and followed.

After feeding and watering the dogs Will cooked for Hannibal for the first time, surprising his love with his limited cooking skills. He made them chop steaks with mushrooms and gravy, asparagus, and red potatoes. While Will cooked Hannibal sat at the dining table entertaining the dogs, using the commands Will had taught him to see all their tricks.

He shook their paws, made them sit and hold snacks on their noses and even play dead. Will’s heart burst watching Hannibal interact and genuinely enjoy playing with his babies. At the start, Will was nervous they wouldn’t get on but as time went by he became more at ease. He couldn’t wait to share his life with Hannibal in their new home, even more.

•••

Once supper was finished and the kitchen was clean, and the sun had set, Will began to feel the effects of his regression. He denied it for a while, continuing to play their third game of cards at the dining table, most of the dogs all resting on the floor around them, Zoe curled in Hannibal’s lap.

Hannibal noticed before Will did.

“You getting sleepy, Honey?” He asked, a gentle coo to his voice.

Will nodded a few times in quick succession. “Yeah,” his voice was soft.

“It’s been a long day hasn’t it? We shopped a lot, drove a lot, played a lot, and you cooked a big meal. I think it’s time to start settling in for bed, don’t you?”

Will nodded again. “I agree, Daddy.” He rubbed his eye with the back of his hand. “I’m very sleepy all-a-sudden.”

“Come on,” Hannibal said, picking Zoe off his lap and gently setting her down. She stirred and shook her fur. Hannibal took Will’s hand in his. “Let’s get dressed for night time.” He turned out the lights in the back of the house and wheeled Will to the front where his bed was.

“Daddy, you need to pull the curtains shut otherwise anyone could see in at night, I’ll be scared,” he pouted sitting down on the bed, bringing his knees to his chest and rocking.

Hannibal followed directions. They had let the dogs out a little bit ago so it wasn’t needed again until morning. “There we go, all covered up,” he said pulling the last curtain down. “Stand up, let’s get you dressed, sweetheart.”

Hannibal dressed Will in things he had in his bag he’d brought from home. A long t-shirt in midnight blue and a new adult binkie he’d secretly bought online that had just arrived in the mail. It had a picture of Bambi on it. “Deer!” Will said pointing at the binkie before sliding it into his mouth, smiling around it while Hannibal diapered him up.

Hannibal smiled. “I knew you’d like that,” he kissed Will’s binkie after taping up the diaper. “Under the covers, Honey.” He instructed. The only light in the room was a small automatic night-light Will used that was close to the fireplace. All the dogs had settled into their beds and the night was still. 

Will watched as Hannibal undressed and got into his sweatpants and t-shirt before crawling under the comforter to join him. Will felt very naked without Mr. Bear to hold, even though he had Daddy. He pouted around his binkie remembering how his doggy Winston had torn his toy’s arm off months ago. But once the dogs were in their guest house at their new home Will could have his doggies and have Mr. Bear and Daddy all in the same place. Everything would be so perfect soon. Will fell asleep in Hannibal’s arms with a little smile on his sweet face. 

 

Chapter Text

Hannibal and Will’s new home was everything they both could’ve ever wanted. It was beyond perfect for both of their needs. It was nearly the exact distance between Hannibal’s office and where Will worked, allowing a shorter commute for the both of them, which meant more sleep, which meant more time together in the mornings when they were at their most vulnerable and dependent.

Will’s dogs were treated like royalty with their own guest home to sleep in and an entire fenced in acre of land to galavant through and explore.

Hannibal’s new kitchen was twice as large as his old one, and Little Will’s new bedroom was nearly four times as large as the one in Baltimore. Which meant more space to play and allowed room for more toys and books, and the puzzle table Hannibal had wanted to buy Will for months.

The move went by without a hitch, both of Hannibal and Will’s respective homes had been emptied out and everything had been taken to the new place. Their life together was officially starting, two souls joining together as one under one hearth.

•••

“They look so happy,” Will said standing on the backyard patio leaning his head on Hannibal’s shoulder watching his pups frolic through the thin layer of snow in the backyard and get used to their new environment.

Hannibal kissed Will’s forehead, his lips lingering over his heated skin for a moment after. “So do you.”

Will smiled, his hand reaching to hold Hannibal’s draped over his shoulder. “I am.”

Their lips joined in a short chaste kiss. “You know when we update our addresses for work, Jack is going to find out about us.” Hannibal said. Hannibal knew Will wasn’t out in his sexuality to anyone. People finding out they were in a relationship would be a shock to some.

“Let him,” Will smirked. “I’m not ashamed of you.”

“Jack might not want you seeing me professionally anymore,” Hannibal said. “Best to be prepared for that. He might say we’re too close and make you see someone else instead…for your work-related therapy.”

“If he does then I won’t go,” Will said, his voice soft.

“You may need to. If you’re wanting to stay in the field.”

Will shook his head. “Who’s a better therapist than your own boyfriend? The trust is already there. I’ll convince him. Don’t worry.”

Hannibal didn’t want to lose Will as a patient but a part of him did wish he could talk to someone else for the things bothering him. There would be times that Will would need an outlet and someone to speak to about their relationship, without giving away too much.

Hannibal bit his tongue, however. That was a discussion for another day. It was their first night in their new home. Hannibal wanted it to be a great one.

•••

It had been a long day and the moving men had done everything in the home, unpacking and putting their things whenever Hannibal or Will directed.

The entire house was unpacked, guest-ready even, except for Little Will’s room. Hannibal had given strict instructions that none of the pre-packed boxes should be opened, just sat down in the room. The furniture in the room was bare, the bed was sheet-less and was lacking life. Little Will’s favorite dollhouse had been boxed away by Hannibal days in advance, and the train-set was somewhere in one of the many boxes.

Both Hannibal and Will knew the feat ahead of them for the room and were keen on getting it over with. Will started unpacking the boxes and putting things away in his adult mindset, completely passive, until he opened one box and saw his very best friend.

“Mr. Bear!” Will squealed, coming out of nowhere. He pulled the toy to his chest and squeezed extra hard. “Daddy! I found him!” He showed Hannibal Mr. Bear, waving the toy from across the room.

“I see,” Hannibal nodded with a smile. Will hadn’t regressed in two full days, even at night. Although stressed about the upcoming move, Will stayed completely un-regressed, which allowed them some adult time together.

They had explored one another’s bodies more than they ever had in that time. Hannibal was hoping they could christen the new home and their new bed that evening but Little Will had stopped those thoughts in their tracks.

“Set him down on the bed for now while we finish unpacking, Honey. Then you two can play while I cook supper.”

“But Daddy he was so scared in the box alone with…” he leaned to look at what else he had been packed with. “Clothes and no stuffie friends! He must have been bored and so sad, Daddy. Can he help us unpack?”

“William,” Hannibal gave him a stern look. “Mr. Bear will only distract you and hinder you from getting the job done. Aren’t you hungry? Don’t you want food in that little tummy of yours?”

Will nodded, still clutching his toy to his chest. He pouted.

“The faster we unpack and set up your room the faster you can play with Mr. Bear again. Set him on the mattress. You can talk to him, but don’t pick him up again until we’re finished.”

Will sighed. “Okay.” He set Mr. Bear down on the sheet-less mattress and started unloading his folded childish-clothes, t-shirts with cartoon characters and silly sayings and cotton shorts and jeans and overalls, to carry toward the dresser in the corner. He was quite regressed which made his movements very fumbled and he almost dropped the stack of clothing but kept them upright. He dropped the first batch of clothes into the top drawer and turned to get another batch when Hannibal spoke up.

“Honey, please put those in the second drawer down. The first drawer is for undies and socks.”

“It’s my room and I like the clothes there,” Will said loading another batch of t-shirts into the top drawer.

Hannibal sighed. “Honey, please do as I ask.”

When Hannibal had set up Little Will’s first bedroom at his home in Baltimore it took him weeks to get it just right, all by himself. To order all the clothing, all the toys, and everything else online and set up the room with a compulsive need for perfection took time. And here they were doing it again, attempting to recreate everything in an hour, but this time Hannibal had a bratty boy on his hands who wasn’t following instructions.

“But Daddy, it’s my room. It’s not yours. I wanna put my things where I want,” he loaded another stack into the top drawer and pouted.

Hannibal didn’t want to punish Will on their first night in their new home, but he couldn’t let Will get away with such abhorrent behavior. He got up from his spot in the corner setting up the doll house and walked over to Will gently grabbing his wrist when his back was turned.

“Oh, Daddy! That hurts!” Will whined.

Hannibal had barely touched him. “No it doesn’t,” Hannibal said. “You’re going to time out for five minutes for not listening. And if I hear a peep out of you for those five minutes I’ll double it to ten. I don’t want to do this but you’re being very disagreeable, aren’t you?”

Will tried to rip his wrist from his Daddy’s hold but he was too weak and small. He cried out and whined. “I don’t wanna go to time out! Mr. Bear, help!” He called after his toy as Hannibal wheeled him into the hallway.

“Sit down,” Hannibal said, his voice soft but very strict. “Right here. Five minutes. Think about how rude you just were. Am I understood?”

Will nodded. He had a need to hold his Daddy tight in a hug and beg for forgiveness but his stubborn side wouldn’t allow it.

“I’m going to go unpack the way it’s supposed to be and by that time your time-out should be up.”

“Can I have Mr. Bear?” Will pouted up at his Daddy from his cross-legged position on the wooden hallway floor outside the room.

“No, it wouldn’t be a time out then, would it?”

Will crossed his arms over his chest and stared forward until Hannibal walked away.

Hannibal set up the the clothing drawers just the way he liked them, in the same way they were in Baltimore. He plugged in a new light up carousel he’d bought and packed as a surprise and set it atop of the chest of drawers before going back to the hallway to fetch his boy to show him.

He wasn’t there.

How hadn’t Hannibal heard him walk away? He sighed deep. The new house was massive, he could be anywhere. He didn’t want Will to get hurt which was his first concern, but his second was that his punishment would be magnified for his defiance.

“William?” Hannibal called out. The open floor plan of the home allowed for a beautiful echo. Surely Will would hear him wherever he ran off to.


“Where are you?”

Hannibal walked down the halls of the second story looking in rooms until he heard a muffled sob coming from the guest bathroom. He approached it and knocked gently. “Honey, are you okay? Daddy isn’t mad. I was worried you got hurt. Can you open the door?”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” Will cried.

“I forgive you, Honey. I’m not cross with you. Five minutes was a long time for a time out.”

“Not for that,” Will whimpered.

Hannibal sighed.

“What happened?” He cooed. “Daddy needs to see your pretty face, baby. Open the door.”

Hannibal heard Will getting up and heard the unlocking click from the other side of the door. Hannibal opened it slowly and first saw Will’s face covered in tears before trailing his eyes down and seeing the large wet spot in the front of Will’s pants.

“Did you have an accident, Honey?” Hannibal said pushing his way into the bathroom to hug his boy to him.

Will nodded in their embrace and started crying again.

“Shh,” Hannibal pet the back of Will’s head. “It’s okay. Daddy isn’t angry.”

“I was t-trying to h-hold it but I knew you’d be upset with me if I left time out and then I just started going and I…I’m sorry,” he clutched to Hannibal’s back through his shirt.

“It’s okay,” Hannibal cooed. “Shh. Daddy is right here. He’ll make it all better. Let’s get you in the bath.” He took Will’s hand in his and walked him to his own bedroom and en-suite. He undressed him and put all Will’s clothing into the clothes hamper to wash immediately after.

He helped Will into the warm water with bubbles and washed him gently with the loofa. “Daddy can I have my bath toys?”

“They’re still packed away in one of the boxes, sweetheart.”

“Can you go get them?”

“I can’t leave you in the bath alone. You’re too little, Honey.”

Will pouted and just laid back allowing Hannibal to wash him. “We’ll use your bath toys next time, okay?” Will nodded. He rubbed his eye.

“Are you sleepy, Baby? It’s been a long day, hasn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Will’s voice was so soft it felt like an arrow shot through Hannibal’s heart. He couldn’t wait to hold him.

“I think it’s bedtime for you, Honey. After this I’ll put the sheets on your bed and you can go night night. How does that sound?”

Will rubbed his eye again and nodded. It had been a very long and tiring day. Hannibal helped him stand and towel dried the suds off, holding his hand to help him out of the tub before he pulled the plug to start the bathtub draining. He always made sure Will was our first before he did that, he was terrified of being sucked down the drain if he was still inside.

He brought Will back to his room down the hallway from his own room. Will had expressed weeks earlier that he want to spend more nights in his own Little room, so Hannibal obliged. Will could always crawl into his bed with him later in the night if he ever wanted. But the small cute environment of being in his oversized crib surrounded by all his toys put him at ease like nothing else.

Hannibal showed Will the new carousel he bought him, shutting out the lights before turning it on. All the little porcelain horsies glowed in the dark under the lights of the tent as they went in a circle. Soft classical music played as the horses went around and around. Will kept his eyes on it holding Mr. Bear tight as Hannibal put the sheets on Will’s bed and locating his comforter before he laid Will down on the bed to dress him.

Hannibal opened the bedside table that had been stocked with diapers, a whole new packet of pacis, and creams and relaxation oils. He diapered Will up while he clung to Mr. Bear, making sure to use a plenty of powder and rash cream before taping him up. He kissed Will’s knee playfully before helping him into one of his long night-shirts, a plain pastel yellow one. They were quiet the whole time, just enjoying the silence and one another’s soft gentle touches. Hannibal rubbed some lavender oil into Will’s bare legs and arms, the smell would be quite soothing and relaxing. 

Once Will was dressed Hannibal handed him his newest and favorite Bambi paci which he placed into his mouth immediately. He situated Will onto the bed before lifting the detachable crib sides so he wouldn’t roll out and would feel safe. Hannibal leaned over to kiss Will’s forehead. “Hold Mr. Bear, Daddy will be right back, Honey.”

Will laid down nuzzling his face in Mr. Bear’s fur watching the carrousel from across the room while he sucked on his paci. The music was lulling him to sleep and his eyes were shutting when the door opened and Hannibal walked back in. “Hey,” his voice was soft. “Can Daddy get in with you?” He lowered the crib side to crawl into bed with Will, cradling his body against his own. He saw Will was drifting in and out of sleep and almost considered leaving him be but he didn’t want his boy to go to sleep hungry.

Will looked up at him, the side of his face pressing against Hannibal’s chest over his cashmere shirt. So soft, everything was so soft and sweet. Hannibal tugged the paci out of Will’s mouth and replaced it with a bottle. “There you are,” Hannibal cooed. “Drink up your bottle and you can go right back to sleep in your new room.”

Will kept his eyes closed as he suckled on the teet in his mouth, breathing in Hannibal’s smell, his big strong Daddy holding him so nicely. Hannibal kissed Will’s forehead every few minutes, smoothing his curls back and watching him drink. There wasn’t a sound except for Will’s new carrousel, the music doing well to keep Will placated and distracted from all the scary thoughts plaguing his mind. He loved his Daddy so much and wanted to tell him so but he was too little, too delicate to form a sentence. Hannibal knew.

By the time the bottle was empty Will was fast asleep, his grip on Mr. Bear had turned lax. Hannibal set Will back down against the pillow and laid Mr. Bear on his sleepy one’s chest. “Daddy loves you. I’ll see you in the morning, Baby.” He kissed his forehead again, slipping the paci back between Will’s lips before getting up and lifting the crib side again. He took one last look at his sleepy boyfriend, in the space that he felt the most comfortable in, before heading back to his own bedroom. “Sweet dreams, Will.”

Chapter Text


When Will woke up it was still dark out, the sound from the carrousel had stopped but the lights were still bright in the otherwise pitch black room as the porcelain horsies continued in their circle. Will located Mr. Bear who had slipped under his comforter and squeezed him against himself in a tight hug. His pacifier had fallen out and was lost somewhere in the bed, he didn’t need it right then.

He squinted his eyes, still in and out of sleep trying to make out what the big masses in the room were. It took him a bit of confused thinking before he realized it was the rest of the moving boxes that had yet to be unpacked. He pouted a bit, he was sure Daddy was anxious over the room not being finished before heading off to sleep.

Maybe he could unpack the rest of his things and surprise Daddy before he woke up. Will turned to look for a clock but he hadn’t been provided with one. His old room lacked one too. If Will had to guess he thought it to be around two in the morning.

He sat up holding Mr. Bear in his lap.

“We’re going to unpack the rest of the boxes, Mr. Bear!” He said softly. Will knew his Daddy was a very light sleeper, and although their rooms were many yards apart he was sure Hannibal would hear him if he was too noisy.

Will pressed a side button on his bed to lower the small crib side down before climbing out of bed. He took Mr. Bear by the arm and carried him toward the door to flick the light switch, his yellow night shirt caught the wind in his movement causing it to fly up in the back showing off his diaper.

He winced as soon as the light flooded into the room, covering his eyes and whining. “It burns, Mr. Bear. Are you okay? Oh no!” He covered Mr. Bear’s eyes with his hands blindly as he took time to adjust to the lights holding his toy in front of him. He blinked and grimaced some more before lowering his hand from Mr. Bear’s eyes. 

“This room is awful big isn’t it?” Will carried Mr. Bear by the arm as he jostled it around walking toward one of the big stacks of unpacked boxes. “My old room was so small. This one is giant! Like almost as big as the moon!” Will gasped running over to the window. He ripped the blinds open by tugging on the cord.

“Look Mr. Bear! The moon! That’s the real moon and it’s far away isn’t it? No silly we can’t walk to the moon! Daddy said it’s made of cheese though, I wonder if Daddy could make us grilled-moon sandwich,” he giggled. “Or macaroni and moon!” He made himself laugh very hard at that, covering his mouth quickly to stifle his laughter. He hoped he didn’t wake Daddy up. He wanted to get everything done so Daddy would be very proud of him. “Shh,” he told his stuffie. “We have to be very quiet…” he let out another tiny giggle before walking over to the boxes.

“Oh no…” Will pouted. “It’s got duck tape on it.” Big Will new it was called ‘duct’ tape, but Little Will always referred to the tape as being duck.

“We’re not allowed scissors, Mr. Bear.” He stood and thought for a moment looking around the room for something he could use. He gasped and ran over to his plastic cooking kitchen. Daddy had bought it brand new for the move, it came with a four-hundred pack of different plastic foods for pretend culinary teachings. Will saw a pink plastic pie cutter on the top of the box of utensils.

“Maybe this will work!” He ran over. “I have to put you down for a moment, Mr. Bear, I need to be careful and I don’t wanna cut your fur!” He placed his toy on the bed, sat up to watch him before he took the pie cutter to the side of the box. He rolled it a few times in the crack of the box on the side and over the tape. At first it wasn’t working but it broke and Will squealed. “Did you see that’s Mr. Bear? I did it!” He ran to the other side of the box and did the same before getting his finger under the tape and ripping it off the top.

Inside were shoes, a whole bunch of different styles. Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Dinosaurs, Toy Story, all big enough for Will’s big adult feet but with cute childish designs. Will groaned. “Shoes. Boring.” He made quick work of putting the shoes away in his closet, placing them neatly in a row.

The next box had art supplies and a little stand up easel. Will set it up in the corner near his doll house.

“Only two more boxes left, Mr. Bear. Don’t be sad! I’ll give you plenty cuddles after I’m through!”

The other boxes had Mr. Bear’s outfits and props, artwork Will had drawn in the past, and Little Will’s train set. Will didn’t take the time to set up the entire train set but stacked the pieces against the wall to assemble later, it was a big task. He placed the framed art on the dresser next to his carrousel and on his bedside table. The drawing Daddy had done for him with the puzzle pieces was one of them. Will stared at that one for a long time before setting it down. He made sure that one was facing his bed so he could look at it all the time.

Will yawned. “All done, Mr. Bear. I think we should go back to sleep, don’t you?” He turned off the bedroom light and got back into his bed lifting back up his crib side and laying his head on the pillow. He couldn’t find his paci, and his little limbs were so heavy from being so sleepy so he brought his thumb to his mouth to suck on.

Daddy is gonna be so happy I unpacked and helped and did it all by myself and he’s gonna give me big hugs and kisses and tell me he loves me and how good of a boy I am and…

Little Will drifted back to sleep.

Chapter Text

“Wake up, Baby,” Will heard in his ear as his body was given a gentle shake. His eyelids fluttered and he felt the soft graze of knuckles on his face and chin as he looked up to see his smiling Daddy looking down at him.

Will tugged his thumb from between his lips and answered sleepily, a dopey happy smile on his face. “Morning, Daddy.” The sun was streaming into the room casting Hannibal in a subtle pink glow.

Hannibal moved Will’s curls out of his face. “Did you sleep well, sugar plum? First night in your new room…”

Will shifted over a bit so he wouldn’t have to crane his neck. He nodded and rubbed the sleep from his eye. “Me and Mr. Bear slept real good.”

Hannibal picked up Mr. Bear who had slid down to be near Will’s feet and placed the stuffy back into Will’s arms. “I’m happy you did. But Daddy missed you.”

“We wanna sleep in bed with you tonight, Daddy.”

Hannibal smiled at that and opened his mouth to speak when a loud banging sound came from the hallway causing his head to whip around. Will sat up with a start clutching Mr. Bear, shivering. “Daddy who…”

Two men barged into the room wearing big bulky black SWAT outfits. They immediately took Will’s Daddy by the arms and tossed Hannibal against the wall by the stomach. Will began to cry, confused of what was happening, but the adult deep inside him knew all too well. The suited men put cuffs on Hannibal’s wrists and began to steer him from the room.

“No! Don’t take him!” Will cried, scrambling off his bed, lowering the crib wall to confront the men. “Please! Don’t take my Daddy!”

The men didn’t pay Will any mind, ignoring him, like he was invisible. Like they were mechanic, devoid of all humanity. “I know I look big, but I’m really little! I can’t take care of myself! I need him! I need Daddy!” He sobbed, yanking on the men’s arms trying to keep them from leaving with Hannibal.

Hannibal turned around, his eyes full of tears. “Will, let go. You’ll be fine. You’re big. You don’t really need me.”

“No,” a large sob came out around the word. “Don’t let them take you! Kill them, Daddy! Kill them!”

“Let me go,” Hannibal demanded, harshly, taking Will aback. He dropped his arms and the men wheeled Hannibal away.

Will collapsed to the floor and broke down, his entire body wracking with sobs.

Will awoke with a jolt, his cheeks wet with tears. He opened his eyes and saw his pillows had shifted about his bed. Had he fought them in his slumber? Was it just a dream? A terrible horrible nightmare?

Will grabbed for Mr. Bear who was between two of the crib slats and got up. Only then did he realize he had wet himself. He was floating somewhere between big and Little space, confused of which end was up. He got out of his bed and immediately made his way to Hannibal’s bedroom. The sun was just rising, casting the open floorplan hallway in dim light.

Will reached the door and opened it with haste. He nearly broke down crying when he saw Hannibal was in his bed, asleep. “Daddy?” He squeaked, his voice full of emotion, his eyes threatening to spill with tears. Hannibal didn’t stir. He got closer and tried again. “Daddy?”

Hannibal’s eyes flickered open he looked up with a sleepy smile. “Hey, Baby.” He sat up when he saw Will was crying.

“What’s wrong, my love?”

Will got closer, still clutching Mr. Bear to his chest and crawled into bed with Hannibal, pressing up against him and beginning to sob openly. Hannibal wrapped his arms around his sweet boy and shushed him gently. “What happened? Did you not like your new room?”

It took some time and soothing before Will was ready to speak. He cried himself out for almost five minutes before he said a word. Hannibal was very patient, continuing to pet and coo at him. “Oh sweetheart,” he said again and again. “My poor baby.”

“I had a nightmare, Daddy,” he leant back to look up at Hannibal. His face blotchy and red, his eyes swollen with tears.

Hannibal’s heart broke at the sight. “Whatever of, angel?”

“They came and took you away,” Will cried. “Two suited men came and took you from me and put you in handcuffs and…” he became inconsolable again, hiding his face in Hannibal’s neck as his body wracked with emotion again.

Hannibal wanted to cry himself, but held back from losing to emotion. Will finding out about him, about what he had done, had caused this nightmare. The guilt was overwhelming. Hannibal was never one to care about how others reacted to stimulus, but with Will, it was a whole different story. Will was a part of him. What hurt Will, hurt himself. And it was all his fault.

“I’m not going anywhere, darling,” Hannibal said softly. “Don’t you worry.”

Will pulled back to look into Hannibal’s eyes again. His voice shifted to his adult tone. “I don’t want to go to work today,” he shook his head. “I can’t.”

“Do you want to stay in bed with me all day, love?” Hannibal wiped Will’s face dry with with his sweater sleeve, going against his own rule of using clothing to clean bodily fluids. “Would that help you feel better?”

“I don’t want to take my eyes off you,” Will said, leaving a kiss on Hannibal’s lips. Hannibal reciprocated, dragging out the kiss, their tongues dancing together for a bit before Will began to cry again. 

“They’re not going to catch me, baby,” he said softly, holding Will against him again, petting his hair. They hadn’t spoken of everything that had transpired in weeks, sweeping it all under the rug. Will had done what he needed to do on his part to point Jack and the rest of the FBI in the other direction, but the underlying paranoia was still there, that much was apparent from Will’s unexpected dream.

“Can you sing to me, Daddy?” Will whined, dipping back into little space again. “Please?”

“Of course, lamb. Close your eyes. Hold your teddy.” Will did just that, laying his head against the pillow, taking the image of Hannibal, his love, his Daddy in once more before allowing his exhausted eyes to shut.

Hannibal laid down so their noses were almost touching and stroked Will’s face with the back of his hand as he began to sing. Soft. Haunting. A Lithuanian lullaby. He sang it again and again until he was sure Will was asleep. His breath coming out smooth and even. He kissed his boy’s forehead and whispered.

“I love you.”

 

Chapter Text

Will woke up to the blanket of Daddy’s bed being pulled away from his body. He whined and hid his face in the pillow, reaching a hand out for Hannibal but only found sheet and pillow.

“Up you get, lamb,” Hannibal cooed, standing at the side of the bed. “I know you’re sleepy but we’ve already slept the entire day away.” He ran his palm against Will’s bare thigh, patting gently.

Will’s eyes flickered open, turning with curls sticking to his face to look up at Hannibal. He found and picked up Mr. Bear who was near his knee and held him against his chest again. He rubbed his eye with the back of his hand as Hannibal snuck a finger into the leg of Will’s diaper to test if he was dry.

“Just a little damp, muffin,” Hannibal said. “Let’s get you out of this and get you in some clean big boy clothes, hmm? Then we can go enjoy the daylight. 

Will’s eyes shot open. “Oh no, Daddy! I forgot to feed the dogs this morning!” He moved fast to get up but Hannibal held him by the shoulder keeping him sat on the bed. “Not so fast. Daddy already fed them before I came to wake you up.”

Will pouted. “I wanted to feed them…”

“You can feed them their supper later, hm? How does that sound?”

Will nodded, he supposed that would be alright. He loved his doggies so very much.

Hannibal laid Will back and got him out of his diaper, cleaning him with baby wipes until he was nice and fresh. Staying in his accident diaper all morning had caused a bit of a rash that Hannibal added bits of cream to. “Up you get,” he held Will’s hand and helped him up. “Let’s get you in some undies.”

•••

They held hands on the way to Will’s bedroom and by the time they reached it Will remembered how he had put away everything in the boxes all by himself. He was buzzing with excitement to show Hannibal how good he was in the night.

“My my,” Hannibal smiled at the clean and put-away room. “Where are all the boxes, lamb?”

Will giggled, holding Mr. Bear tight to his chest. “I unpacked all by myself! Did I do a good job, Daddy? Did I? Did I?” He bounced causing the floor to creak under his adult weight.

“You did a great job, sugar plum,” Hannibal kissed Will’s forehead. “Daddy is so proud to have such a good helpful little boy.” He smiled warmly cupping Will’s face in his hands. Will leaned against one of Daddy’s hands, his eyes twinkling at the one he loved.

Hannibal helped Will pick out a pair of Spider-Man briefs and got him dressed in a plain purple t-shirt and khakis. He was allowed to pick out a pair of childish adult shoes which Will decided on his Spider-man ones to match his undies.

“Where are we going, Daddy?” He said as he tried to tie his shoe, messily. Hannibal took over and tied both feet right in.

“I figured since we had such a stressful morning we would go do something nice, creative, and relaxing. Do you want to go paint some pottery?”

Will gasped, his eyes lighting up. “Yes!” He bounced on the bed. “Yes, Daddy! I so want to paint and draw Mr. Bear and you and me and my doggies and hearts and flowers and…”

Hannibal chuckled. “Will all of that fit on a piece of pottery?”

“I’ll make it fit,” Will beamed. “Oh, Daddy, can Mr. Bear paint something too?” 

Hannibal thought about the private room at the public pottery painting place and nodded. “We’ll get something for him to paint, or he can help you, but we have to make sure he doesn’t get paint on his fur.” 

Will nodded. “That would be bad.”

 “Indeed it would,” he took Will’s hand. “We’ll eat while we’re out. Are you hungry now?”

Will looked down at his tummy and poked it gently before nodding. “Can I have a ‘nana in the car?”

“Is that all you want? You don’t want any graham crackers or vanilla wafers?”

Will giggled. “My name is Graham.”

Hannibal smiled. “It is.”

“I want some of them, please Daddy.”

Hannibal places a few graham crackers in a plastic baggy and grabbed a banana and an apple juice before they were out the door.

•••

By the time they got to the pottery place Will had eaten his morning snack and drank all his juice. He had fed Mr. Bear some graham crackers too but they crumbled against his furry mouth making Will’s lap a crumby mess. He wiped his lap off onto the floor of Daddy’s car, hoping he wouldn’t notice.

The pottery place was empty by the time they arrived. “May Daddy hold Mr. Bear as we walk in, love?”

Will pouted.

“Daddy how come I can’t ever hold Mr. Bear in public?”

 Hannibal thought about it for a moment before responding with something he thought would placate his little one.

“Because, honey, we wouldn’t want him to get lost would we?”

“But the store is just right there, I won’t lose him,” Will clutched his stuffie right to his body.

“Baby,” Hannibal turned in his seat. “You know you’re a bit older than the other little ones who carry around stuffies. It might look funny to other people.”

 “I don’t care what people think,” Will shook his head. “I don’t at all. I wanna carry Mr. Bear.” His voice broke like he was about to cry.

Will had had a very difficult morning with the nightmare. He couldn’t imagine tearing the comfort of his favorite stuffed friend from him.

Hannibal nodded. “Very well. You can carry him.” He pursed his lips out of Will’s sight, knowing he would have difficulty not lashing out if anyone so much as even looked at Will wrong.

They got of the car and Hannibal took Will’s hand, shutting the passenger door behind his boy.

A man walked past them on the sidewalk giving the pair of them a raised eyebrow. Hannibal kept his gaze forward. He had been working on controlling his…habit, and anyone being outwardly rude could possibly set him off. He took a breath and reminded him it was all for Will. All for his baby boy.

“Hi, welcome to Potter’s Pottery Barn,” a smiling red-haired woman at the front greeted them. “Do you have an appointment or are we a walk-in today?”

“We have an appointment,” Hannibal said, squeezing Will’s hand.

The woman looked them once over and nodded like nothing was out of the ordinary. Hannibal slowly let out a deep breath from his nose in relief. A man holding another grown man’s hand while cuddling a teddy bear wasn’t exactly common but the kind woman didn’t treat them any differently. 

“Excellent. I’ll take you back where you can pick out your piece to paint,” she opened a door and beckoned them both forward.

“I reserved room six,” Hannibal said with a kind smile. 

“Perfect!” Her disposition was cheery.

Will felt comfortable. He had never gone public with his bear and being blatantly little but he felt safe here.

Will and Hannibal picked out pieces of pottery. Hannibal chose an octopus and Will picked out a teddy bear that looked just like Mr. Bear, he said. “Daddy doesn’t he look just like him?” He held up Mr. Bear next to the pottery one. 

Hannibal nodded. “He does, muffin. Are you going to paint him silly colors?”

Will nodded. “Yeah I’m gunna make his ears purple!”

The woman had made herself busy with unlocking room six and didn’t hear their conversation.

“It’s ready for you,” she called across the space.

“You have an hour,” she smiled. She had set down trays of paints of all different colors and brushes on the table. The room was painted with Disney characters.

Will sat down and Hannibal handed the woman a one-hundred dollar note with a smile and a thank you.

She thanked Hannibal profusely before turning on a radio with the local pop music station on it.

“Take all afternoon if you need,” she smiled and left.

“Daddy?”

Hannibal turned. “Yes d…”

“Doesn’t Mr. Bear look pretty with blue eyes?” Will held up his stuffy with fresh blue paint lathered thick over his bear’s beaded black eyes, it was dripping down into the fur.

“Honey!” Hannibal jetted over to grab the toy and take him to the sink. “Baby, don’t do that. What did we talk about?” 

He dampened a paper towel and carefully got the paint off the eyes but the fur underneath was stained blue. “I hope we can get this out at home.” He said under his breath.

Will rushed over. “I’m sorry, Daddy.” He began to cry. “I thought he would be pretty.” He covered his face.

“He’s fine, baby. Look at him. He just has a little blue stain on him. I think I can fix him once we get home.”

“But what if we can’t?” Will pouted, clinging to his toy again.

“We will,” Hannibal kissed his forehead. “We will.” Now lets put him in my bag while we paint so he doesn’t get messy.”

“No,” Will whined, turning away. “He wants to help paint.” 

“Are you going to get paint on him again?”

 Will shook his head.

“Okay. Show me how a good boy paints.”

They sat and began painting their respective pottery pieces. Will held the brush in Mr. Bear’s paw and helped him paint certain pieces, afterward giving his stuffie praise. “Such a good artist, Mr. Bear. Wow! What a good boy. You’re almost as good as Daddy!”

Hannibal smiled observing his boy, so carefree and precious. He knew inside that sweet innocent mind was a damaged man, clinging to a sense of contentment. He was overjoyed he was able to help Will Graham find Little Will and give him a healthy expression for the torment going on in his mind. 

He couldn’t help himself from leaning in to steal a kiss from Will’s lips. “I love you, baby.”

 Will smiled shyly. Big Will’s face crossing over his little one for a moment. “I love you too, Daddy.”

 

Chapter Text

Will and Hannibal left their pottery pieces at the shop to dry while they went to get some lunch. Will was very hesitant to leave his piece. He’d worked so very hard on it and he was worried it would get broken or stolen.

“But, Daddy! It’s Mr. Bear’s first artwork! I don’t want to leave it!”

Hannibal sighed, petting Will’s hair back. “Little love, you remember how paint is wet and sticky?”

Will held Hannibal’s wrists while somehow still managing to hold onto Mr. Bear’s paw. He nodded with big tearful eyes.

“What happens when things are wet, lamb?”

Will shrugged, completely unaware.

“What does Daddy do when you get out of the bath?”

“Hum…” Will looked off to think and ponder about the very difficult question. There were a lot of things Daddy did when Will got out of the bath. “Kiss my nose?” Will said with a scrunched eyebrow.

Hannibal shook his head, refraining from smiling, though he wanted to badly.

“No, muffin. Daddy dries you off with a towel, doesn’t he? Because you get out of the bath all soapy and wet.”

“Daddy, our potteries aren’t soapy…”

Hannibal sighed deeply again. “But they’re wet. And wet things must be dried. Right?”

“We can dry them with a towel then so we can take them home right now!” Will got loose of Hannibal’s hold and ran to the corner to grab a paper towel.

Hannibal caught him before he could do any damage. Will had been acting up quite a lot. Hannibal put it down to his boy’s nightmare. He was acting extra ignorant, needing extra affirmation. Hannibal was glad he himself was a patient man.

“Baby, we cant dry them with a towel. It will smudge the paint.”

Will pouted and crossed his arms over his chest.

“I’m sure as soon as we are through with lunch and a little shopping trip they’ll be nice and dry and ready to take home. Hm?” Hannibal dropped his head to look into Will’s eyes who was staring straight at the floor with a steely grimace. “What would you like for lunch? I’ll take you anywhere you want.”

Will perked up a bit at that. “Anywhere?”

Hannibal hesitated before nodding. He knew Little Will’s taste was not the refined cuisine he was used to. He would have to suffer for this little love of his.

“I want pancakes!” Will grinned. “Mr. Bear wants them too!” He held up his toy tilting him back and forth in Hannibal’s face.

Hannibal smiled. He could make due with pancakes. He could get some lightly sugared crepes for himself.

He took Will’s hand in his and walked them both to the car.

•••

“Will?” Hannibal looked into the rear view mirror at his boy in the backseat as he drove. He was playing a pointless imaginary game of Rock Paper Scissors with Mr. Bear, carrying on a conversation with the stuffed toy throughout. The sight warmed his heart.

Hannibal didn’t want to yank Will out of the comfort of little space but a question was weighing on him so very hard, pressing against the gate of his mind and seeping through the cracks.

“Yes, Daddy?”

“Can I talk to Big Will for a moment, honey?”

Will looked up and held Mr. Bear down in his lap, petting at the fur behind the toy’s ears. His voice deepened as he answered. “Yeah. What’s up?”

“Are you okay?” He said softly.

Will nodded but shrugged, a conflicting response.

“After that nightmare…you…” Hannibal slowly stopped at a red light. “You were so upset. I’ve never seen you like that. And you were Little in public…for the first time. With no qualms. That’s not like you. You’re usually so reserved and private…I just…”

“I’m fine,” Will said bluntly, a little too forcefully to be believable.

“Are you?”

“Yeah. Why wouldn’t I be?” He stared down at Mr. Bear continuing to stroke the soft fake fur.

“It was a scary dream. Was it not? Even for Big Will. Losing me. Being left alone.” Hannibal gripped the steering wheel hard. “That won’t happen. You know that. Right?”

Will nodded, still staring down, and the light turned green. Hannibal began driving again. Hannibal was not convinced in the slightest that Will was okay.

“If someone finds out. Baby…”

Will looked up.

“If…someone finds out. I will take you and we will leave. They will never find me. Us. We will never be ripped  apart. Okay?”

“Okay,” Will said meekly. He knew Hannibal would move heaven and hell for him.

“I don’t want you to worry about th…”

“No matter what you say I will never stop worrying,” Will’s voice was soft, sounding as if he were about to start crying at any moment. Upon seeing Hannibal’s concerned face in the rear view he shook his head. “Sorry.” He scoffed.

“Don’t apologize.”

“They could spring it on you. On us. Out of nowhere. In our sleep. You could be ripped from my arms. Put away in prison. I don’t what I’d….I don’t know what I’d do if…” he covered his face with his hands, his body shaking.

Hannibal pulled the car over and climbed into the back seat to pull his love into himself. He shushed him gently, petting the wild curls back from his angelic face as Will cried. Will’s body shook in their embrace, overwhelmed with emotion. He continued to cling to Mr. Bear even though he wasn’t regressed in the slightest. It caused him comfort.

Will imagined his nightmare came true, if Hannibal was locked away. All he would have was Mr. Bear. He would cling to him at night and remember when Hannibal first gave the toy to him. The hesitance at first to accept the stuffed animal. Now it was a part of him. He was all he would have left of Hannibal if he was discovered and forcefully taken away. That and the mind-opening cathartic therapy he’d grown to love so very much. But it wouldn’t be the same without him. Who would take care of him? He remembered his early days of experimenting with little play. He didn’t want to be alone again. He  couldn’t get on without his Daddy. Without their play. Without his love. He would fall apart.

“Baby…” Hannibal kissed Will’s forehead. “Don’t cry, my love. Daddy isn’t going anywhere.”

“You cant promise that.” Will looked up, his eyes red and puffy. “You know you can’t.”

“Will…

“Can we leave?”

“What do you mean?”

“I know we just bought the house. I love it so much there. My dogs…but I can’t…I can’t stop thinking about you being taken from there. I think if we stay, they’re going to come get you. I know they will.”

Will was the closest thing to clairvoyant Hannibal had ever come in contact with. His ability to get into the mind of killers and more or less tell the past and predict the future from the evidence was a skill Hannibal never knew existed through all his years of medical and psychiatric work. If Will said he had a feeling something was going to happen, and felt so strongly about it, Hannibal wasn’t one to tell him no, or that he was wrong.

“Do you want to get away for a while?” Hannibal said. “We don’t need to move or sell the house or anything just yet, but it might do you some good and cause some relief if we got away. If we went overseas. For a long month?”

“What about when we come back?” Will wiped his eyes of tears.

“We’ll see what happens. Hm?” He kissed Will’s lips. “I’ll pay our neighbor to tend to the dogs. We can get away. Just you and me.”

Will smiled, his features softening.

“And Mr. Bear?” He held up his toy between their bodies.

Hannibal chuckled. “And Mr. Bear.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Will slumped forward and lay his face against Hannibal’s chest, his thumb quickly finding his mouth as he suckled, soothing himself. His eyes were closed, his other arm clutched Mr. Bear as he listened to his Daddy’s heartbeats there in the back of the car.

Hannibal smiled, sadly, stroking Will’s hair and kissing his forehead. He knew his boy always drifted far into Little space after showing strong emotions and his good cry and display of passion had sent him floating down into the mind space without a parachute. He would need a long while to recover.

“Do you still want pancakes, lamb?” Hannibal voice came out a soft gentle coo, knowing his boy was very far regressed.

Will shook his head.

“What is it you want?”

Will didn’t answer but nuzzled Hannibal’s shirt with his cheek.

“Do you want milk, my prince?”

Will nodded. Hannibal’s shirt moved against his chest from the movement.

Will had regressed so far he was no longer verbal, which happened quite rarely, but Hannibal never forgot how to handle the situation.

If they were to get away for the next month it would take a lot of work to rearrange their working schedules, and nobody yet knew Hannibal and Will were together. It would all soon be obvious with everyone within their circle if they were to leave together.

But that was a worry for another time. Will being in such a delicate state put a lot of responsibly on his shoulders. He hadn’t seen Will like this since the time post-panic attack at the grocery store.

“Baby, you need to eat. And we’re not anywhere near home,” Hannibal wracked his brain thinking of a solution to the problem. He couldn’t take Will anywhere in public, not until he he gained control of his muscles again. He was dead weight on Hannibal’s chest, which was indicative of severe mental regression. Hannibal wasn’t sure Will would be able to walk, even if he had to.

He couldn’t leave Will in the car alone while he went in to go buy an apparatus to feed him. And no bottle bought at a store would have a large enough teat to fit Will’s adult sized mouth.

Hannibal’s worries subsided when he looked down and saw Will’s breath had evened, the tears on his cheeks had left dried streaks on his skin. He was asleep. Perhaps all he needed was a little nap. Hannibal closed his own eyes, petting Will’s hair as he too floated to sleep.

•••

Hannibal woke up to a soft metallic tapping on the car window. He took a moment to squint and rub his eyes, realizing the sky outside was much darker than before he had drifted off. They had slept all afternoon.

The tapping sound started again and Hannibal realized it was coming from behind him. He turned and saw a police officer outside the backseat window, softly tapping his flashlight against the glass. And he didn’t look happy.

Hannibal’s stomach plummeted. Will was still asleep, thumb in his mouth. Hannibal blindly reached for Will’s hand and tugged the thumb from his boy’s mouth. But the damage was done, the officer had already seen it, he was sure. Will had begun to stir.

“How can I help you, officer?” Hannibal said, his voice muffled for the cop behind the glass.

Will’s head raised to see what was happening. Upon seeing the cop his heart began pounding. Was he there to take Hannibal away? Was it too late? He lay frozen. Mr. Bear had shifted between their bodies out of sight and didn’t need to be consciously hidden.

“Roll down the window, please, Sir.”

Hannibal pressed the button lowering the window electronically. He scooted and sat up properly, Will moving to accommodate. He laced his fingers through Hannibal’s out of the cop’s sight. If the man was going to take Hannibal he would have to pry him from him.

“License and registration, please.”

Hannibal pulled his wallet from his pocket and thumbed through with one hand for the documents, knowing Will wouldn’t let his other hand go if he tried.

The cop took the documents and muttered for them to stay where they were as he took Hannibal’s papers to his cruiser for analysis.

“It’s okay,” Hannibal said turning to Will once they were alone. Will squeezed his hand. “He doesn’t know anything, he’s just a cop.”

Will was visibly shaking, not saying a word. Raising his arm to clutch Hannibal’s bicep with his other hand. Anchoring his Daddy to himself.

The cop returned in a few moments.

“Are you aware it’s illegal in the state of Maryland to sleep in your vehicle?”

Hannibal nodded. “I am very aware.”

The cop looked from Hannibal to Will with a furrowed brow. “He alright?” He nodded to Will.

Will was staring down, his hands holding both Hannibal’s arm and hand had turned white at the knuckles.

“He’s had a rough day,” Hannibal replied to the officer, tearing his eyes away from Will to address the man again.

The cop nodded. “Very well, though I do have to issue you a citation. Here states…” he held up the digital clipboard. His words were drowned out as he spoke by Will who had zoned out as soon as he realized the man wasn’t a threat. He wasn’t coming to take Hannibal from him. He was simply doing his job.

Will remembered what it was like to be police officer himself, he’d issued many citations and speeding tickets. This was just a normal stop. But it did little to calm Will’s mind.

Hannibal signed and accepted the paper before the cop walked away back to his car.

Hannibal pocketed the citation and turned immediately to Will.

“He saw me, didn’t he?” Will whispered.

“Saw what?” Hannibal moved hair behind Will’s ear.

“Me being a…a baby…” Will shifted uncomfortably in his seat, scowling. “That’s why you pulled my thumb out of my mouth. That’s what woke me up.”

“I don’t know for sure he saw you, honey,” Hannibal cooed, petting Will’s face to soothe him. “Matter of fact I don’t think he did. He was looking right at me.”

Will was hit with another overwhelming bout of shame. And he had been openly Little at the pottery place? What was wrong with him?

When he was in Little Space everything was perfect. He felt soft and floaty and everything was right. But after he broke under certain circumstances he was still overcome with embarrassment.

Will nodded, knowing deep down he was sure Hannibal was lying to him.

“Will it ever get easier?” Will looked up. “To not hate that I need this?”

Hannibal thought for a moment before speaking. “I don’t know. I’ve never been in your position. Or my own position as a caretaker, before. I’d like to tell you that it does. But that’s all within you, my lamb.” Hannibal kissed Will’s cheek. “I’ll be here with you through it all. The ups, the downs, the questioning. You never have to feel ashamed, though I know that is much easier said than done.”

“I just want to be able to cope with stress like a normal person.”

Hannibal sighed. “This is your normal, my love. Like it or not. You’ve found something that works. Someone people might not understand it. But…”

“Enough with the fucking psychiatry,” Will snapped. “We’re not in your office right now. I’m struggling with this. And you’re just throwing optimistic bullshit at me.”

Hannibal was taken aback, biting his tongue and gathering his thoughts before he spoke again. But what came out was still venomous.

“Should we stop for a while? So you can remember how it feels to not have this release? Do you remember the sleepless nights before your pacifier? The horrific nightmares that claimed your soul every evening before Mr. Bear? How badly you wanted to quit your job because you couldn’t handle it? I helped you. I provided you with this. I take care of you. I bathe you. I clothe you. I feed you. I do everything. And I love doing it. I will never. William, look at me. Never. Regret any of this. I love you. I will do anything. Anything. For you. I understand you hate that this all makes you feel weak. But it doesn’t. You’re lucky. You have something thousands of people would kill for. You have a Daddy who loves you and does everything you need. So don’t sit there and throw it all back in my face like you’re too good for it.”

Hannibal had never spoken to Will this way, and a part of him felt angry with himself for doing so. He felt like he was guilting Will for his perfectly valid feelings. But he needed to speak his mind. He had sacrificed a lot to make Will happy and provide him the care he needed, and for Will to constantly openly hate it was infuriating.

“I never said I was too good for it,” Will said. His hands dropped from touching Hannibal’s body to hold in his own lap to twiddle with his own thumbs. “And I appreciate what you do, I just…”

“Take some time,” Hannibal said coldly.  “To remember.”

“I don’t want to do that,” Will breathed out. “And I don’t want to fight.”

Hannibal shook his head. “Neither do I.”

They sat in silence for a moment before Will moved to open the car door but was stopped when the child lock prevented it.

“Where are you trying to go?”

“I’m going to get a cab home.”

“Will…”

“Please, just…let me go. I need to be alone for a bit.”

“You don’t have any money on you.”

“Then I’ll walk.”

“William…”

“Let me out,” Will said harshly, turning with tears in his eyes. “I’m not a fucking child. Let me out of the car.”

Hannibal didn’t move, frozen to the spot. Will scoffed after a few seconds and climbed into the front seat to open that door and get out.

Hannibal watched him walk away through the glass windows, not moving an inch. After Will disappeared from view he looked down to see Mr. Bear face down and abandoned on the seat next to him.

Chapter Text

Hannibal sat in the back seat of the car for thirty straight minutes thinking about what he had said to his love. He hadn’t meant it to come out so harsh, but he had to speak his mind.

He couldn’t imagine how difficult flipping in and out of such a mindset was like and the toll it mentally took on someone’s body. Hannibal studied the human brain, went to school for years to do just that, and here he was trivializing someone’s trauma. And that someone happened to be the person he loved the very most.

The guilt he felt was unbearable.

All of this negativity, from the dream to the argument, happening on their first day at their new house made Hannibal question if he and Will perhaps weren’t meant to be after all.

He grimaced at the thought of that being the case. Their first day should have been one of excitement to finally be together under one roof, every night. They no longer lived hours apart. This was their beginning, and it seemed it was also their ending.

Hannibal knew Will deserved so much better than himself in many ways. He deserved someone who wasn’t a murderer, for one. Someone who didn’t cause him distress and nightmares. Someone who he didn’t have to protect with lies, making himself guilty in the process. If Hannibal was caught, Will would go down too for protecting him and lying to the FBI about evidence. Hannibal couldn’t see any of this ending on a positive note. Perhaps they did need to move away from the state, away from the country. Go north. To Canada.

Eventually Hannibal moved his body, climbing into the front seat, feeling like a child himself again in the process. He drove back to the pottery place to pick their pieces. As soon as he held the ceramic bear Will and Mr. Bear had painted, a tear streamed from Hannibal’s eye. He bat it away quickly.

Such an insignificant object symbolized so much. Will had been through a lot in his thirty-six years, and this new mindset had more or less saved his life. He was creating again. His childlike wonder at every “new” thing and endless questions was a way of him to not only retreat away from scary adult life and trauma but to have a second chance at a normal childhood. Hannibal had never pried and asked Will straight on about his early years, but they couldn’t have been easy, not if he needed Little Space as an escape.

Hannibal would rather die than lose Will. His Will. His love. His baby boy. Even if keeping him was selfish, he couldn’t bear to let him go.

•••

Hannibal went to eat by himself at a small diner next door to the pottery place to grab something small to put in his stomach. He worried about Will and if he made it home alright. He was smart, he was sure he figured out a way. Will never carried his phone when he was regressed, so reaching him was an impossibility.

By the time Hannibal got home the house seemed empty. The lights weren’t on and it didn’t look as if Will had made it home yet. He located the hide-a-key and saw it was right where it was suppose to be. If Will had come home he would’ve made it in the house. Perhaps he was inside and asleep.

Hannibal let himself in with his own key and headed immediately for the back yard to check on and feed the dogs. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the dog’s bowls were all full. Will has made it home. But whether he was still there or not, Hannibal didn’t know.

•••

Hannibal had been home for hours, distracting himself in multiple ways before retiring to his study. He sipped on a glass of wine sitting on the couch in the room trying to read a book but was so mentally distracted he’d been on the same page for an hour. He stared at the fireplace and overthought the situation once more.

Maybe it would do he and Will well to put Little Space and all the childlike paraphernalia away and on the back burner for a bit. To find themselves and define their relationship within more adult-like parameters.

In the end it was whatever Will wanted to do. Will controlled this game. Hannibal was simply there as a tool.

Hannibal didn’t turn when he heard the study door open. His heart began pounding. Was Will coming in to shout at him? To tell him he’s moving out? Hannibal choked up at the possibilities.

Before Will he needn’t have cared if anyone left him, he’d never cared about anyone so much as to fear losing them. But with Will, he was a part of him. To lose him would be a devastation of the highest degree. He would wither away to nothing without Will Graham’s love.

Will walked around the couch silently and Hannibal finally turned to acknowledge him. His heart did a flip when he saw what his boy had in his hand.

A bottle of milk.

Will handed it to Hannibal before getting onto the couch with him. Grabbing a pillow and laying it on Hannibal’s lap to rest his head on. He looked up in Hannibal’s eyes, reaching up to graze Hannibal’s face with the back of his knuckles.

He wasn’t in Little Space, Hannibal could tell. He was wearing a pair of his own long plaid sleep pants and a white t-shirt. Completely in his adult mindset. Why was he doing this? Hannibal held the warm bottle in his grasp, tears brimming in his eyes.

“Honey…”

“Please feed me,” Will sighed. “Please.”

“I’m sorry I shouted…”

Will shushed him gently.

“Please.”

He curled up to Hannibal. Tucking his legs up to be comfortable on the couch, waiting for Hannibal to place the teat in his mouth. Looking up at him with pleading eyes that too were wet.

Hannibal’s heart ached. He loved this man so much. So vulnerable and trusting. What had he done to deserve such a gift?

Hannibal and Will didn’t speak a word to each other as he placed the nipple of the warm milk bottle into Will’s mouth to feed him. Will closed his eyes and drank slowly from the slow-feed teat. With one hand he found Hannibal’s other one and laced their fingers together.

After months of this, after even the intimacy of sex, Hannibal and Will had never felt more close until that evening. Never more content.

Hannibal marveled down at his love as he suckled, eyes closed, lost in a dream-like state. Will’s hand in his pulsed in his every few seconds, squeezing and relaxing. A tear  streamed from the corner of Will’s closed eye.

Everything would be okay. As long as they had each other.

Chapter Text

Will had gotten home hours ago, before Hannibal even, which came as both a surprise and a relief. Will wasn’t prepared to see him again. Not for a good while. After leaving Hannibal’s car, Will walked the first couple of miles, fully intending on walking the rest when their new neighbor happened to pass him on the way home, offering him a ride.

Will was fortunate their neighbor wasn’t a big talker and left Will alone with his thoughts during the ride. He was in no mood or shape to be social or entertain anyone with bullshit small talk

He was angry at Hannibal for many things. For the harsh words he spat in the car, for making him feel guilty and insecure for his feelings, and for the past and what Hannibal had done. How could Hannibal, knowing what and who he was and what he did, how could he have allowed Will to fall in love with him? It wasn’t fair. To either of them. Will was bitter. Furious. Angry that he was so deeply in love with the man, so connected to him on such a deep and rich level. Grateful for everything he had and continued to do for him, but seething all at the same time.

Little space, the therapy, had sewn their souls together. Will was dependent on it all, on Hannibal’s love and caretaking. He felt like he would go insane if he lost it all, not when he was so addicted to it. But Will’s shame still beat him up, taking his carefree side by the throat and throwing it up against the wall of his brain. What kind of grown man enjoys being babied? What a complete sicko you are. You’re disgusting, you’re weird, there’s something off in your brain. 

Will’s ‘Little self’ was carefree, never worrying about what people thought, but as soon as he broke was when the negative thoughts started, which was why lately he was Little more and more often of late, to silence the voices. When he was Little the world was better, the sun shined brighter. His Daddy caring for him and pampering him and teaching him things was like a drug. His own childhood, which he almost never spoke about had been a difficult one.

He was never abused but his father often neglected him, especially in his earliest years. Will’s father had never smiled with glee upon receiving artwork he had made. Not like his Daddy did now. His father had done the best job he could being a single father but he wasn’t cut out for parenting. Will never heard his father say he was proud of him, or praise him for doing a good job.

Will didn’t realize how much his childhood had affected his adulthood until that moment of reflection. He had subconsciously been craving approval from older men his entire life, trying to fill the void his father had caused. Hannibal, his Daddy, did and continued to do just that. He loved him so much. He hated fighting. But God damn it, he was mad.

He cooled down after being home for a couple of hours, understanding that he wouldn’t be able to function if he lost Hannibal. He was a part of him. If he lost that love, so secure, so different, so unique he would surely crumble to dust.

He had heard Hannibal come home and hid in one of the guest bedrooms until he worked up the courage to make his presence known. He headed down to the kitchen and filled one of his slow-feed-teat baby bottles with milk before placing it in a hot mug of boiling water to warm it.

Taking the warm bottle in his hand, he felt strange. Not bad strange, but a bit off, being completely un-regressed and yet excited about presenting the bottle to Hannibal. He was anxious to make amends and talk everything out. But first this would serve as a bonding activity, to remind them both of their base dynamic, of their love for one another.

He knew Hannibal was in his study and headed straight there. Opening the door without knocking he saw the back of Hannibal’s head as he sat on the couch. He gripped the bottle tight and almost stepped a foot into the room when he saw the pottery pieces they had painted that afternoon prominently stood up on the entrance shelf against the wall on display. His heart constricted and his lip began to quiver. Hannibal, even after their spat, had gone back to the pottery place to get their things. Hannibal was proud of him and his art, the sight of the figures was overwhelming and Will almost turned and fled the room but instead he walked closer to Hannibal, needing to be in his arms at that moment.

Once around the side of the couch Hannibal looked at the bottle of milk before up into Will’s eyes, his face was soft and gentle. How badly Will wanted to kiss him in that moment. Will handed the bottle to Hannibal who took it tentatively. He grabbed a pillow and placed it over Hannibal’s lap joining him on the couch, laying down and looking up, reaching to caress Hannibal’s face with his knuckles. So in love, he was so deeply in love. Tears brimmed in his Daddy’s eyes as well as his own.

“Honey…” Hannibal sighed.

“Please feed me. Please.”

“I’m sorry I shouted…”

Will shushed him, stroking his face again, silencing him. All was forgiven, they would talk about it later, he just needed to be fed and feel loved.

“Please.”

He curled up against Hannibal and tucked his legs up, staring up pleading with him.

Hannibal smoothed Will’s curls back as he placed the teat in his boy’s mouth. Will closed his eyes. They didn’t speak at all as Hannibal fed him but the their feelings for one another flowed between them like gentle waves, the movements unyielding and strong, like the soft turn in your tummy when you see the person you’re in love with coming down the street, again and again. The feeling was intoxicating.

Will’s hand blindly found Hannibal’s unused one, lacing his fingers between his Daddy’s and squeezing gently in little pulses all the while. They both cried, feeling compete, overwhelmed with feelings for one another. It was all too potent, undiluted, raw.

It took a full thirty minutes for Will to drain the bottle and when he did he snapped out of near unconsciousness, not wanting to lose the moment by falling asleep, and sat up, pulling Hannibal against himself to nuzzle his head into the corner of his Daddy’s neck. He smelled so good, like pine. Hannibal clutched at Will’s t-shirt, the tears on his face wetting Will’s cheeks. It took a few more moments before anyone spoke.

“I’m sorry,” Hannibal whispered, his voice catching on a sob at the end.

“I’m sorry too,” Will said, rubbing his palm slowly on Hannibal’s chest over his cashmere sweater. His hand moved up to caress his thumb against the side of Hannibal’s neck.

“I want nothing more than to be better for you,” Hannibal sighed. “If I knew someone like you was in my future I never would have…”

“I know,” Will cooed.

”I try to sound so confident that nobody will catch me, but the truth is, it’s perfect possible. I’ve left quite a trail. I’m trying to stay strong so you feel better, but the truth is that I’m terrified. That I’ll lose you, that I’ll leave you alone. That I will get you locked away for protecting me, I…” Hannibal choked up.

Will had never seen Hannibal so vulnerable before. It broke his heart but it also made him feel secure. He was Hannibal’s everything, just like he was his. Their love for each other really had zero bounds.

“I’m terrified,” Hannibal said. “And now it’s affecting you. Your nightmare. Feeding off my upset causing your embarrassment of regression to become more prevalent. It’s all my fault. And then I shouted at you…”  

“My shame is always there, it had nothing to do with the nightmare. I had my nightmare in Little Space, which is meant to be a safe haven for me so it threw me off. I thought that maybe it wasn’t helping anymore, and that scared me. If such a negative thing could break through the walls of it...maybe it wasn’t serving a purpose anymore and that’s why I lashed out. That’s what caused my break down. It’s nothing you did.” He caressed Hannibal’s face looking into his eyes.

Hannibal shook his head. “I wish I could believe that.” He took Will’s hand in his and held them together in his lap.

“I think it is a good idea that we get away for a while. I know we just got here. But I think we need to clear our heads, figure out the next step,” Hannibal said.

Will nodded in agreement. “I’ve become so dependent on Little Space to fix everything, so addicted to it and hiding from reality. I want to take a step back, evaluate our relationship.”

Will had been Little every evening and non-stop during weekends for over a month. Maybe the saying was right, too much of a good thing tainted it in the long haul. 

“I’d like to cut back to only being Little when I truly need it, maybe only weekends, select nights. Times of extreme stress. I don’t want to overdo it, which I feel like I’ve done.”

Hannibal nodded. “If you think that’s the right thing for you, I’ll support it.”

Will blushed under Hannibal’s supportive and loving smile. “I think it will help me cope with the shame, if I use it only when intended, rather than a definite. But I’m hesitant…”

“Why?”

Will didn’t want to bring the conversation back there, but he had to get it off his chest. “This is what brought us together, I fear our relationship is built on it. Like it’s the foundation. And I fear if I toss it out, toss out our foundation, that we’ll crumble.”

“Never,” Hannibal shook his head. “That will never happen, Will. We’re stronger than that. Little play may have been the catalyst of us getting together and learning to trust one another, but we’ve grown in the months since. We have so much more to lean on, to look back on. It’s not all we are.”

Will started crying at those words, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.

Hannibal tugged him forward gently to kiss his left over tears away.

“We’ll be just fine, my love.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Daddy?” Will said, sitting on the edge of his bed kicking his feet while Hannibal packed a suitcase for the him.

“What is it, my little love?”

“How long are we going to be gone?”

Hannibal had referred his patients to multiple different colleagues of his for the next month and had written Jack, Will’s boss, a very detailed letter recommending his patient Will take a long break to get his mental health under control before he returned. A professor would even be filling in for Will’s classes while they were away. His job was secured for whenever he decided to come back.

“A month, baby.”

“Hum…how long is a month?” Will was stroking Mr. Bear’s fur with a little baby blue play hairbrush Hannibal had bought him to keep the stuffie looking dapper and clean.

“Four weeks.”

“How long is a week?” Will squeaked.

“Seven days.”

“That’s a lot.”

“It is,” Hannibal nodded in agreement. “But I think we will feel much better by the end of that time and more relaxed, don’t you?”

Will knew deep down why they were really leaving and it wasn’t for a silly time away or for a carefree vacation. It was for a sense of ease, surrounded by something much more macabre. But Will stayed in Little space trying to make sense of it all there, to distract himself

“Oh, Daddy, will our hotel have a pool?” He bounced on the bed. “Daddy I wanna swim in the pool! Please please please!” He tugged at Hannibal’s sleeve as he leaned over the suitcase.

Hannibal chuckled. “Of course, Daddy will take you to the pool. But you must wear your floaties if you do. You’re much too little to be swimming without them.”

Will nodded in agreement, though he knew when the time came he would make a fuss about the floaties claiming to be a big boy who didn’t need them.

“Make sure to pack Mr. Bear’s swimsuit, he wants to go swimming too!”

“Mr. Bear can’t go in the pool, honey.”

“But why?” Will whined.

“It wouldn’t be good for him. He would get yucky with chlorine and wouldn’t smell the same ever again no matter how many times we washed him.”

Will pouted. “Fine! Then I don’t want to swim anymore.”

Hannibal sighed, packing Will’s swim shorts anyway knowing his boy would change his mind once he saw the big pool with all the fun slides.

They would be leaving for their first stop, Cancun,  in two days and Hannibal had wanted to get a head start on the packing, not wanting to leave it for last minute. Hannibal had already packed he and Will’s grown up things in his big suitcase. The current bag was for Little Will’s things only.

Will hated that he had one last day of work before they would be leaving. The stress of the travel had sent him into full regression for the past two days straight and to yank himself out of it would be a feat.

“I don’t wanna go to work tomorrow,” Will said under his breath.

Hannibal heard the drop of timber in his boy’s voice and crouched down, not sure if he was Little or Big.

“I just want to go...” he cuddled Mr. Bear hard to his chest and pouted down at the floor.

“I know,” Hannibal said rubbing Will’s knees. “And we will. One last day to get things sorted and then we’re gone. Okay? Can you be a big boy for Daddy for one more day?”

Will hesitated before nodding.

•••

The next day at work was when everything for Will Graham changed.

“I need to talk to you,” Jack said bombarding in and interrupting his lecture. Will stood frozen in place as the large man walked closer. The concern in his eyes, Will could sense something was wrong off the bat.

“Get out!” Jack shouted at all the students in the round. They all gathered their things and scurried our, knowing better than to anger Jack Crawford.

Will gripped his desk as Jack told him new evidence was found that linked the most recent murder to the killings of the Chesapeake Ripper.

“It’s a definite, Will. You were wrong.”

“Was I?” Will said, his throat closing up, tears burning behind his eyes trying to seem inconspicuous. He was bracing himself for the name to drop.

“We think it’s…I mean we have no definitive proof. Not yet. But with everything we’ve gathered. All signs are pointing to Hannibal.”

Will stared straight forward, physically at Jack but through him. This was a nightmare. This was everything  he had dreaded since realizing it himself. He would do anything, he needed to do something to get them off his love’s trail.

Hannibal and Will had kept their union a secret. Nobody, not a single soul, knew they were together. Which was a damn good thing. They hadn’t changed their addresses yet, giving away that they lived together. Jack was none the wiser.

“Why Hannibal?” Will kept his composure.

“We know it’s a Doctor, someone who used to study medicine, that now is involved in psychiatry. The people were murdered in ways…in books pertaining to those subjects. Like art, almost. Dirt deposits found only in daffodil gardens, under the fingernails.” Will saw a flash of the flowers in Hannibal’s personal old front lawn. “Hannibal fits the profile.”

“So do dozens of doctors in Maryland, Jack.” Will scoffed, a shake to his head.

“Why are you protecting him?” Jack’s voice was angry, but not shouting, not yet.

“I’m not…” Will ran a hand over his own face, pressing at his temples. “Protecting him. I just don’t think it’s smart to jump to conclusions when you don’t have all of the evidence.”

“How close are you two?”

“We’re not friends,” Will said, not exactly lying. “He’s my Doctor, I’m his patient. I respect him. I don’t think he did this.”

“Well you didn’t think the two murders were connected and you were wrong about that.”

Will rolled his eyes, his arms crossed.

“I’m going to need you to stay here and help me figure this out. Is there any way of you postponing your leave of absence?”

“My leave of absence is for my own fucking sanity, not some vacation to get away and punish you.”

“Excuse me?” Jack’s voice boomed. “What the fuck did you just say to me?”

“You are ignoring the broader picture here, Jack!” Will shouted. “You’re trying to pin this on Hannibal when he hasn’t done anything wrong!” Will was hysterical.

“How can you be so sure of that?”

“I know him,” Will said, gripping the desk willing his tears to soak back up into his eyes but they were already falling.

“You don’t know him. He’s just your psychiatrist.”

Will hated having to keep he and Hannibal’s relationship a secret but it was dire.

“Why are you so upset over this?” Jack said, sensing something was off.

“Because you’re not being fair to him.” Will said, his bottom lip trembling. “He wouldn’t do that, he wouldn’t…”

But he would. And he did. And Will knew that. His boyfriend, his Daddy, the one that loved him, bathed him, changed him, fed him, the man who held him every night and sang him lullabies had murdered dozens of people. There was no escaping that fact. And if Will didn’t do something Hannibal would be going to prison for the rest of his life.

Will grabbed his coat, ignoring Jack’s shouts to come back as he walked out of his classroom. He had something he needed to take care of.

•••

Later that evening Will was driving home, back to Hannibal, blood droplets flecking his clothing. The act hadn’t been different from any dream or vision he had ever had. The trauma had prepared him for carrying out what he needed to. Killing had been quite easy, considering he was doing it to save the love of his life from being incarcerated. He had planted the evidence needed to frame another psychiatrist whose profile was nearly identical to Hannibal’s. Will was smart. He knew all the tricks of how not to get caught. Once the planted evidence was discovered, Hannibal would be off the FBIs radar. The Chesapeake Ripper, all of Hannibal’s past crimes would be buried under someone else’s name. They would be free.

Will drove quickly as he could feel the major regression coming. He needed to get back home and fast. Back into Daddy’s arms. Daddy would make it all okay again.

 

Chapter Text

Will walked in the front door of he and Hannibal’s shared home and stood there, rooted to the spot. He didn’t speak, didn’t call out, just stared forward for close to an hour. His mind was trying to barricade what he had done from his own consciousness. The momentum of the car no longer served as a distraction. 

The blood on his jacket and button up was dried and almost black by the time Hannibal came down from his study to make himself tea and took notice of Will standing like a statue in the foyer.

“Baby?” Hannibal said walking over.

Will didn’t budge, except for his eyelids that flickered from the familiar voice. 

Hannibal walked closer and noticed the blood. “Baby, what have you done?” Hannibal ran his finger over the dried blood on the cuff of Will’s forrest green jacket. “Baby what…did you hurt someone? Look at me.” He grabbed at Will’s face to force him to look into his eyes. “What did you do?” Hannibal’s voice was wavering. Will was always so soft and sweet. Always so afraid of carnage. How could he have done such a thing?

Will stared right through him, allowing Hannibal to manipulate his body like a standing rag doll.

“Will!” Hannibal shouted, shaking him. “Will, what did you do?”

Will finally spoke, his voice at a soft delicate whisper. “We’re free.” He collapsed as soon as the words were out. Hannibal caught him in his grasp and helped him to the floor.

•••

When Will woke up he was in a half-full bathtub, naked and being washed with a loofa. His eyes flickered open and he turned to look at Hannibal whose expression was unreadable. Was he angry? Was he happy? What was he thinking?

Hannibal noticed Will stirring and looked into his eyes.

“I burned your clothes in the backyard.” Hannibal said, his voice and expression stoic. 

Will nodded. That’s what he had planned on doing himself.

They were silent for a while longer, Hannibal continuing to clean him before he spoke again.

“Do you want to tell me what happened?”

“Jack found out,” Will said. “He…he said your name. Said you were the leading suspect. I had to do something. I had to…”

“You had to kill someone?” Hannibal’s jaw clenched.

Will nodded. “To plant the evidence needed to throw them off. To frame someone else. They won’t suspect you again.” He laced his fingers into Hannibal’s holding the soapy loofa against his chest. “I did this for us.”

Hannibal shook his head, sitting back and unlacing their fingers. Will had wanted to regress since he first walked through the door that evening. But he had a wall in his mind preventing him from doing so. He hated it. Wanting to get everything on the table, all the serious talk finished, so he could retreat into a Little carefree state.

“Are you angry with me?” Will sat up a bit more, the warm water sloshing around his thighs. “I did it the proper way. I made it so that…”

“You tainted your soul, Will.” Hannibal swallowed. “Because of me. You ruined your innocence. Because of…” he covered his face with his hands and began to sob. This was all his fault. If he hadn’t been a monster in the first place Will wouldn’t have had to take a life, destroy his mind, make it even worse than it already was. Will was so delicate, this would only magnify the trauma he faced daily in the pits of his subconscious.

Will sat up and pulled Hannibal to him, petting his hair as he cried. It was odd soothing the man who cared for him, a strange shift in their dynamic. “We’re a team,” he said. “I would do anything to protect you. Same as you would do for me. I couldn’t lose you,” he sighed. “I need you.”

Hannibal continued to cry. He felt guilt for causing Will to commit such an atrocity, that much was true. But the overwhelming feeling of pure love he got from Will in that moment, knowing the man would do anything for him, was euphoric, unbelievable. He didn’t deserve him. He was so happy, beyond words.

He kissed Will’s lips, stroking his boy’s cheeks.

They looked into each other’s eyes and Will felt himself sinking, finally the wall in his mind was breaking down to allow him to find that peace again. He clutched to Hannibal’s biceps, his face softening as he regressed.

“Will we be together forever, Daddy?”

Hannibal nodded. “Of course, baby.” He stroked his boy’s wet cheeks. “Of course.”