The knife in his gut felt like being born.
Each inch it tore further into him hung around his head in individual moments, suspended in drops of time that he gazed around at like they were stars forming constellations that could explain this.
He clung to the man killing him, his hands grasping at the crisp, familiar linen of his shirt.
The shirt is rolled up, exposing thick forearms that flex as Hannibal whisks whatever he’s preparing, some thick orange glaze that smells of honey and clove.
The shirt is rolled up, and Hannibal has blood creeping up his arms as he keeps the man in the back of the ambulance alive. His eyes find Will’s over the body.
It was odd, looking into Hannibal’s eyes and seeing an equal pain reflecting out at him. He had asked Will something, he had but no, Will is shaking his head, no that doesn’t make sense I don’t understand I-
The sound of his own blood beating a steady shower onto the floors below, echoing obscenely in his ears, was all he could focus on, all he could think of.
Hannibal’s hands, binding his own so softly, holding his so gently, so lovingly, his blood tinting the water basin, Hannibal’s fingers dipping into it reverently, then unbelievably, raising his fingertips to his mouth and tasting.
Will sits precariously on Hannibal’s bathroom counter, knuckles white from the grip he has on the cool marble. Hannibal catches every single curl that floats down as he trims Will’s hair – the first hair cut Will hasn’t done himself since he was a child.
Hannibal, who savored every last bit of what Will gave him, letting his life blood go to waste on his kitchen floor.
“I wanted to surprise you,” Hannibal is saying, and to Will it seems like the words don’t match up with Hannibal’s mouth, because they are so softly spoken, but Hannibal’s gaze hurts more than the knife itself.
Heartbroken, the man is heartbroken.
Suddenly the warmth of Hannibal’s embrace is gone and he is discarded on the floor, no better than Alana or Jack. Will feels… demoted, like he has fallen from the pedestal Hannibal so carefully crafted for him.
“I let you know me,” Hannibal’s voice is thick with pain, with agony, “See me.”
Will’s own gasping has begun to drown out the other man’s words and he gulps desperately to quiet himself down.
“But you didn’t want it.” Hannibal finishes, and Will doesn’t understand how Hannibal is so blind.
“Didn’t I?” Will chokes out between gasps.
Hannibal doesn’t take time to study him with a warm gaze, searching Will’s words to unearth everything that may be buried in them. The gaze Will has grown so accustomed to. He is thundering ahead, accusing Will of wanting to take his life, his freedom.
Will can’t make his mouth form the words to say what he needs to say, what Hannibal needs to hear, he finds himself only able to whisper, “No, no, no.”
He can’t look away from Hannibal’s face, from its exquisite suffering. Like a martyr whose patron god has abandoned him in the after-life. Will is mesmerized by his friend, his enemy, his family. His family.
He remembers Abigail’s presence and suddenly he knows, he knows what Hannibal is going to do – what he must do – and Will feels afraid for the first time since he entered Hannibal’s house.
Hannibal is asking for his forgiveness.
“No,” Will gasps, “don’t-”
And Hannibal doesn’t listen, of course, but Will isn’t asking for what he thinks he’s asking for. Abigail creeps forward.
“Hannibal,” he manages, and the other man turns at that, helpless to Will saying his name.
“Eat,” Will chokes out, “Me.”
And just in case the other took it as a cheap insult and not what he actually meant, he added, “Please.”
Abigail stopped in her slow advance. Hannibal turned fully back to Will, who had begun to shake uncontrollably hard, and his teeth ached as they knocked together.
Hannibal just stared at him blankly, and Will couldn’t tell if it was from lack of emotion or excess of.
Will just couldn’t bear to die without Hannibal’s hands on him. He had pictured his final breath many times, thought of where Hannibal’s hands might be when it came.
Deep within his guts, in the cavern of his chest, grasping at the heart they owned. The other stroking his forehead, slipping through his curls.
“I’ve got you, Will. And I promise to eat every last bite.”
He didn’t want this, this distance, this cold, being thrown away, being unworthy.
He didn’t want to die alone. He didn’t want to die without becoming a part of Hannibal.
Hannibal showed no sign of speaking, much less moving.
“Please,” Will’s throat was thick with blood and speaking around it was hard.
“Please,” he whispered, as his eyes, beyond his control, slid shut and he sank further onto the floor. “Please, please, please…”
“I love you, I love you, I love you,” he woke up, whispering.
The hospital room was dark and empty around him.
Will grazed one hand down his stomach until it came to rest on the bandage wrapped snugly around him.
He closed his eyes again, imagining his hand wasn’t his own.