Will hadn’t even wanted to go to therapy. He’d never wanted to go to therapy, but he especially didn’t want to go when someone made him. And his boss, of all people, had made him. He supposed he couldn’t say no to the head of the FBI BAU.
The irony of the entire situation didn’t escape him, but it hardly made it easier to go.
But go he did, at seven pm on a Thursday, to an office in a very fancy part of town, to be greeted at the door by a very fancy man.
Will hated him immediately.
Dr. Lecter was a very stereotypical psychiatrist, honestly. He had a calm manner, was well-spoken, offered an atmosphere most people would consider welcoming and safe in which to open up. But most people weren’t Will Graham, and Will knew something was off. He didn’t know what it was, but he knew it was something. And trusting his gut was what his entire job at the FBI was about, he could hardly ignore it.
But he also couldn’t outright tell a total stranger, his boss had made him see to overcome emotional trauma in the field, that Will thought he was weird .
Which was why that was exactly what he did.
Dr. Lecter’s smile spoke volumes, though it barely tilted the corners of his lips. “It’s fine to be weird,” he told Will, sounding absolutely delighted by the idea. “Do you consider yourself so as well?”
“Why, because it takes one to know one?”
“In a sense.”
Will fidgeted uncomfortably. “I guess so,” he finally said, looking away.
“We are all a little bit weird.”
Dr. Lecter was beyond a little weird though. He was a lot weird.
He kept odd hours. He talked about Will’s job like it wasn’t batshit insane. He stood a little too close and talked a little too low and-
“Did you just smell me?”
Will had been pacing. He always seemed to be pacing when he was here, from one end of the office to the other. Sometimes Hannibal sat and watched. Other times, he trailed Will, herding him back to his seat like a sheepdog. He was right over Will’s shoulder now, close enough to send a shiver down his spine.
“Your aftershave is atrocious,” Hannibal told him.
“It’s also convenient. I don’t have to order it from a foreign country.”
“I’m of the belief that a man should smell like himself, and nothing more.”
“Yeah, tell that to the forensic team who have to share the back of a truck with me after twenty hours knee-deep in Florida wetlands,” Will snorted.
“Perhaps it’s an acquired taste,” Hannibal pointed out, amused. Will just frowned at him. Thankfully, his session ended soon after and he went home convinced that the entire conversation had been a very unsubtle hint that Will needed to wash more frequently. He took a shower, scrubbing himself more than usual and as a quiet fuck you put on more aftershave than he needed after he cleaned up his beard.
Because fuck you.
Next session, Hannibal offered him a drink. Something deep red from a decanter that looked like it had come from a medieval castle, liquid and all. The wine was nice, richer than what Will was used to, and he noticed that Hannibal didn’t drink, even when he poured himself a generous glass.
The session after that was cancelled, Hannibal apologized profusely on the phone citing a seasonal illness he didn’t want Will to catch.
“I would be more than happy to make up the session with you tomorrow evening.”
“Will the bug pass by then?” Will had asked sardonically.
“I’m certain I will feel quite human again.”
Will had thought it would be great. An extra night in with his dogs, an extra night of peace.
It wasn’t as great as he might have expected. He found he missed Hannibal, his pretentious conversation, his complaints about Will’s aftershave. They were very nearly friends, Will realized.
He wasn’t sure what it said about him, that his only friend was so weird. He was trying not to think about it.
Hannibal seemed to be doing much better when Will saw him the next day. He was more vibrant, somehow, with color to his cheeks that Will rarely saw in him.
“Hell of a bug,” Will murmured.
“I’ve always been exceedingly hardy,” Hannibal told him.
Will tilted his head, suspicious. “I get the feeling you were brushing me off yesterday, Doctor.”
“I assure you, I was quite ill.”
Will snorted. “I suppose I should be appreciative that you wanted to keep me safe.”
Something came across Hannibal’s face then that Will couldn’t read, and for a moment they were silent. Will narrowed his eyes and whatever he’d seen was gone like clouds passing over the sun; too quick to catch but significant enough to notice.
“That’s what I want above all else,” Hannibal said, and Will’s brow went up.
“For all your patients? Very altruistic of you.”
Hannibal’s smile was that bare twitch at the corner of his mouth and Will wondered if he’d ever seen him show his teeth when he smiled. He realized he hadn’t. Was that normal? Did he show his teeth when he smiled?
“Just those for whom I have a particular affection.”
Will backed up, bringing a hand to his hair to tug, trying to get the nervous energy out of himself somehow. Hannibal had given him wine again.
“Seems a bit unethical,” Will pointed out, clearing his throat to cover the sound of surprise he made when his back hit the ladder leading up to the mezzanine library.
Hannibal had been keeping pace with him. He circled, a lion on the prowl. He didn’t meet Will’s eyes, gaze centered lower.
Was he staring at Will’s neck?
Sure, Will’s pulse was racing, but not that badly. And only because of Hannibal’s sudden proximity.
The space between them narrowed. Will could see the individual flecks of color in Hannibal’s dark eyes. A hand reached out for him, slow, cautious.
The second he touched Will’s wrist, the spell was broken. Will jerked away, face flushed. He twisted out from Hannibal’s rapidly shrinking bubble, resuming his frantic pacing of the room.
“It is only unethical if you are my patient,” Hannibal said, breaking the silence. “In which case a great many things are unethical. Are you my patient, or are we merely having conversations?”
“I’m sure the FBI aren’t paying for me to just have conversations with you,” Will replied breathlessly, wrapping his hand around his wrist and rubbing his thumb over the spot Hannibal had touched.
Hannibal merely shrugged, bringing his own hand up to work over a cufflink in a mirroring motion.
“Then, perhaps, they shouldn’t pay me at all.” He offered Will a smile when the other looked askance from across the room where he’d managed to flee to. “Perhaps you’ll come for dinner?”
Now if that didn’t sound ominous.
Will promised to think about it. He promised to let Hannibal know the next day if he was available that evening. He promised more, he was sure, to get the hell out of there before his boner made itself the center of attention and derailed the trainwreck that his life already was. He couldn’t have a crush on his damn therapist, for God’s sake. He was an adult. He could keep a hold of his emotions, at the very least.
He drafted a message to Hannibal to let him know he couldn’t make dinner, and that he was sorry, and found that he felt overwhelming guilt at having lied. He had nothing on, his dogs certainly weren’t keeping him from seeing anyone. He deleted the message and wrote another, sending it before he could change his mind:
Perhaps you’d like to come for dinner at mine, instead?
Hannibal showed up perfectly on time, dressed impeccably in his suit and tie, his hair perfectly slicked back, holding a bottle of wine far too nice for the fish bake Will had prepared.
In deference to Hannibal’s sensitive nose (or perhaps in a misguided attempt at flirtation), Will was freshly showered with the closest thing to unscented soap he could find.
Hannibal smiled at him, small, restrained, not a hint of teeth. He stood on the porch with his bottle of wine, looking ridiculously overdressed and all the more attractive for it.
“Hello, Doctor- Hannibal.”
They looked at each other for a moment, in which Will could not think of what to say. Finally, Hannibal cleared his throat.
“It’s a lovely evening, Will, but a bit chilly.”
“Oh!” Will said, stepping aside. “Right!” There was another moment of pained silence before he added, hastily, “come on in.”
Hannibal smiled again, inclining his head in thanks, and stepped almost cautiously over the threshold. As soon as he did, the dogs - who hadn’t actually responded to him before this, which Will found fairly strange - became damn near feral. Growling, pressing up against Will, tails tucked and ears back as they regarded the stranger but didn’t attempt to get near him.
“Hey,” Will gently pushed Buster, his most fearsome little protector, back with his shoe. “Stop that. I don’t know what’s gotten into them, I’m sorry, they’re never like this usually,” he gave Hannibal an apologetic look and found the man staring the animals down. He looked… serene, almost, strangely unaffected by the growling or posturing. A moment, two, and Hannibal blinked and looked at Will again.
“It’s no trouble. I am in their territory without their invitation, perhaps I would respond the same way were dogs to flood into my home.”
Will laughed, he couldn’t help it. The thought of his animals - mutts, all - running wild in Hannibal’s office was a mental image he’d treasure. Maybe he was overthinking it, maybe the dogs were just nervous because he hadn’t had anyone new over for - god - months. Years, maybe.
Dinner was simple and set out on Will’s scuffed dining room table already, no flourish of presentation necessary. He told Hannibal to sit where he wanted as he took the wine and wondered if he had wine glasses in a cupboard somewhere or if they’d have to resort to mismatched tumblers.
He was on his toes, digging through the seldom-used upper cabinets, when he felt the first hint of dread creeping up his spine. Cold, uncertain. It slid into his belly, twisting.
A presence behind him, heat. Hands on his hips. Hannibal’s voice a breath in his ear. “Will…”
This was what he’d wanted, wasn’t it? His stupid, childish crush on his psychiatrist, heated dreams and fleeting hopes.
But the dread creeped further. Hannibal’s lips brushed his jaw. His teeth grazed Will’s throat.
The teeth. The guarded smiles, the moment on the porch. Late night sessions, keen sense of smell. The dogs.
It was ridiculous, it was absolutely ridiculous and impossible, but when Will felt sharp teeth against his skin… he sort of panicked.
He spun in Hannibal’s arms. Hannibal’s fangs were sharp and frightening. Backed against the counter with no place to go, Will did the only thing he could think of: he shoved forward and bit Hannibal’s neck.
His teeth did little more than push against skin; he wasn’t made for sucking someone’s blood, after all. He had thought, like any normal human being, that that was all stories, myths and legends, tales told by villagers who were too scared of tuberculosis yet more scared of science and needed to explain away death after death in their little corner of the uncivilized world.
He pulled back when it got too awkward to keep his jaw open painfully wide and basically gnawing on Hannibal’s neck. He had no pulse, which Will supposed was the final nail in the vampire theory coffin - pun absolutely unintended, but Will’s mind found safety in humor. If the teeth hadn’t been clue goddamn enough, the lack of pulse was what did it.
Will looked at the man - the monster? The vampire? His psychiatrist? Were they all mutually exclusive now? - in front of him and was pleased, at least, that he’d surprised him into silence. Hannibal’s lips were still parted far enough to show his teeth - sharp, far too sharp - and his eyes were wide. Then he blinked, and Will swallowed, and brought a hand to rub the back of his neck awkwardly.
“Are you a fucking vampire, Hannibal?” Will asked. It wasn’t his finest moment. Hannibal licked his lips.
“I much prefer strigoi but the concept is much the same, yes.”
Right. Of course he was. Anyone Will was interested in had to have something wrong with them.
And this led to another problem, namely, that Will was still trapped against the counter with Hannibal looking at him like he was dinner.
Or… maybe not dinner. Hannibal certainly looked hungry, but it was a hunger that made Will’s stomach flip.
“No,” Will said when Hannibal began to lean in again. “No, Hannibal, wait-“
Instead of the sharp press of fangs, Will felt the soft brush of lips against his. He made a gentle noise, startled, and Hannibal growled.
Suddenly, Will seemed to have tipped them over into something else entirely. Hannibal’s tongue slid hungrily against his own, and two large hands caught the backs of his thighs and lifted.
“Wait,” Will said again when he was set on the counter, “Hannibal, what are-“ Hannibal tugged sharply at his hips, so that Will was propped up on his elbows with his ass at perfect height for-
Hannibal grinned and surged in to kiss him again.
This was something Will could understand. Sex, passion, absolutely mindless need? Sure. And when he didn’t try to run his tongue over Hannibal’s teeth in morbid curiosity it almost felt like being kissed by a human being. Almost. Except that his heart didn’t stutter against Will’s hands like Will’s stuttered against his, and he was cool to the touch in a really unnerving way.
So Will dragged his hands into Hannibal’s hair instead, and wrapped his legs around his middle where he was clothed and Will wouldn’t instinctively feel for a heartbeat. He wasn’t sure if this was self preservation or blatant self-denial but the fact that he was hard as hell and Hannibal’s mouth was driving him mad was good, at least.
“Hannibal -” clever hands slipped down to cup Will’s ass and for a moment that was all he said on the matter. Then some brain cells woke up and forced some blood back up into the grey matter and Will tried again.
“Hannibal, wait, we have to talk- talk about this.”
“Yes,” Will groaned, rocking up against the man looming over him before he forced his hips to be still. “Yes, we really do. You’re not alive.”
“That’s.. That’s the same thing.”
“It’s a little more nuanced than that.”
Will groaned and drew a hand over his face. He was curled quite uncomfortably on the counter and his neck was getting a crick in it but he wasn’t sure how to just… move. Or ask Hannibal to move him.
“You were going to kill me.”
“No,” Hannibal shook his head, eyes so earnest Will had to blink a moment to get them back in focus. “No, that was never my intention, Will. Never that.”
“I’m not a vending machine ,” Will snapped. “You can’t just-“
But Hannibal was still staring at him, eyes open and honest. It took Will a second, two, before it hit him.
“You were going to make me a vampire?” He yelled, voice pitching high enough to startle the dogs into another frenzy.
Hannibal hushed him, cupping his face gently. “There is too much brilliance in you to see it snuffed out.”
That was, possibly, the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him. If it had been said by anyone other than his vampire psychiatrist, it might have been flattering. Instead, it brought a bubble of hysterical laughter to Will’s lips.
“I dunno, Hannibal, I’m pretty sure immortality is at least a third date idea!”
Rather than looked chastened, Hannibal looked amused. “When you’ve tasted it, Will, any reservations you have will flee.”
Will was fairly certain they wouldn’t , but with Hannibal leaning in again, he found it hard to argue.
“Sensations are so much stronger,” Hannibal murmured against his jaw, “intimacy becomes more intense.”
“Don’t you think-“ Will gasped as Hannibal’s lips traced the column of his throat, “-don't you think we should have intimacy before you offer to improve it?”
“Are you asking me to take you to bed, Will?”
“I figured that’s where this was heading,” Will gestured unnecessarily to their proximity and his contorted position. Hannibal considered him a moment before leaning in to hoist Will against him, carrying his weight effortlessly, as though Will weighed nothing at all.
He supposed he didn’t, to Hannibal.
“I am going to have a lot of questions after this,” Will admitted as Hannibal leaned in to nuzzle his throat again, just teasing the bite of teeth there in a way that made Will shudder in pleasure. “But you probably get them all the time.”
“You may be surprised to learn, Will, that I don’t often tell people about my situation.”
“That.. that makes sense actually,” he gasped when Hannibal sucked a kiss to his skin. “Okay, bed, bed first, questions later.”
“Upstairs?” Hannibal asked him.
“Nope,” Will laughed breathlessly, tugging Hannibal’s hair to press their foreheads together. “Living room.” He grinned when Hannibal’s brow raised. “It’s one I prepared earlier.”
“Perhaps I’ll have questions of my own,” Hannibal suggested, amused, “after.”
Hannibal tumbled him into crisp, clean sheets. Will hauled him down overtop of him, gasping when Hannibal immediately latched onto his throat again.
“No biting,” Will said sternly, fumbling with Hannibal’s tie.
“You have no idea what you smell like,” Hannibal countered, his hands shoving up under Will’s shirt, cool and tickling against his skin. “Especially like this, clean and with your blood racing.” He licked at the fluttering pulse under Will’s jaw, fingers teasing at Will’s nipples.
Will gasped and arched, helping Hannibal work him out of his shirt before dragging Hannibal out of his own. Hannibal’s hair was mussed, but the rest of him was entirely put together. He didn’t flush, his lips weren’t swollen from kissing. Will was trying not to think of how or why his dick worked.
“Forever is a long time, Hannibal.” Will arched his back, letting Hannibal slide him out of his slacks and underwear, leaving him bare and hard beneath him.
“It needn’t be fatal,” Hannibal coaxed. “Just a taste. It doesn’t hurt, Will. I can make it good for you.”
“Maybe-“ Will gasped and shuddered as Hannibal’s hand wrapped around his cock, “maybe just a little biting.”
Did it really only take someone touching his dick for Will to give up his life so easily?
He’d think more on this later, when he had actual blood flow to his brain and a beautiful man not arching over him stroking his cock. God it felt good to have someone touching him, to have someone who wanted Will as much as Will wanted him. He bit his lip and groaned when Hannibal purred a noise of pleasure against him. He tilted his head and caught his hand against Hannibal’s throat when he leaned in to take the bait.
“Not there,” he sighed. Not yet .
Hannibal’s eyes narrowed, and Will wondered why he hadn’t ever noticed before that they were red, blatantly red eyes. “Where do you propose, then?”
“Be creative,” Will challenged him, biting back a curse when Hannibal let him go and set his hands on either side of Will’s head instead. Will was about to voice his complaint, to yank Hannibal back down, when Hannibal bent on his own, setting his teeth to the skin just above Will’s nipple and biting …
“ Oh shit,” Will sighed, immediately tensing up. It hurt, of course it did, but there was something… something almost unreal about it. He felt like he was floating, drugged, alive .
Hannibal drew from him in long, slow pulls, then pulled back to look up. He was panting, despite his lack of breath, his eyes wild and his lips red. Will stared at him, chest heaving, cock hard and flushed against his belly.
“Please,” Will whispered, and he’d barely managed to draw breath again before Hannibal was bending lower, sinking his teeth into Will’s inner thigh.
Another slow, steady suck. Will arched his back and moaned, thighs closing around Hannibal's head as if to hold him in place. Hannibal nursed at him until his fingertips were tingling, until the world was spinning and Will’s cock was leaning against his stomach, still mostly hard.
“Hannibal,” Will moaned, reaching weakly for him. “ Hannibal. ”
Hannibal surged up to kiss him, tasting of copper and life. He left red smears across Will’s skin, trailing kisses down his body.
Will didn’t know where he got lubricant from. He must have brought it with him, presumptuous bastard, but Will lost time somewhere. He came to with Hannibal working thick fingers into him, curving them expertly.
And fuck, fuck that felt good. Will shivered, feeling a little cold, wondering how much blood Hannibal actually took from him. He did believe that Hannibal didn’t want to kill him, he believed that much. But he was lightheaded and his fingers were numb and the pain that had come from Hannibal’s teeth had faded to something very much not painful.
Will spread his legs wider, arching his back and grinning when Hannibal immediately leaned in to kiss his throat again. Insatiable, impossible man.
“No,” Will laughed, catching his hand in Hannibal’s hair. “Not there,”
He didn’t make promises, didn’t say not yet, didn’t say later, just… not there. Eternity was a lot to think about when a gorgeous man was fingering him open. It was a lot to think about when he wasn’t doing that.
“God, Hannibal, you, I need to feel you now, come on.”
Hannibal made a sound, warm and purring against Will’s skin, and licked over the marks he’d made on Will’s chest before teasing his nipple with a nimble tongue.
“You’re a temptation, Will,” Hannibal told him. “An addiction.”
“Won’t be as yummy without a heartbeat.”
“You’ll be delicious,” Hannibal promised him, voice gravelly and thick with arousal. His hands gripped Will’s thighs and spread them wide, leaving Will open and exposed.
He pressed inside in a slow, gentle rock of his hips. Despite their earlier fervor, he was cautious with Will, mindful of his strength. He kissed Will without teeth, gentle things that caught and muffled Will’s tiny whimpers as he adjusted.
“You will be as beautiful frozen as you are in life,” Hannibal told him, “a god among men, brilliant and intriguing.”
“Gonna have to keep me for a few years, first,” Will murmured, “drink your fill.”
Hannibal’s hips stuttered in their rhythm, his eyes wide as he stared down at Will.
Will smiled, stretching beneath his gaze, and sighed. How was he going to just walk away from this? How could he possibly pretend this never happened and go about his life knowing that there was a vampire seeing patients in the middle of Baltimore? How could he possibly pretend he didn't still desperately, achingly want Hannibal like he did when he'd thought him human?
He'd gone to therapy for a reason.
"You're going to tell me you don't want to?"
"I'll admit I'm lost for words…" Hannibal said, before leaning in to nuzzle against Will's jaw, reaching to grasp his curls and tug his hair enough to arch Will's back beautifully. He adjusted the angle of his thrusts, shifted closer, pulled Will in -
"Fuck! Fuck , that, that again…" Will dropped his hands back to shove against the headboard, wrapping his legs around Hannibal to coax him closer. His blood smeared against Hannibal's skin as he fucked Will, and the visual was much more arousing than it should have been.
Like he'd claimed Hannibal in turn.
Like he'd marked him. Scented him. Staked his claim.
"More, Hannibal, please," he sighed.
"Will, I could -"
"I have work -" Will's breath hitched, he dropped both arms over Hannibal's shoulders and clung to him, his cock trapped between them and tormented with the most blissful friction. "Work tomorrow. I have to actually show up , Hannibal, I can't cover a bite -"
“Long sleeves or short?”
“Long, it’s cold, what-“
Hannibal brought Will’s wrist up to his mouth, gracing the skin with the gentlest of kisses before he bit down over the pulse.
“Oh fuck ,” Will arched his back, bucking helplessly against Hannibal as his pleasure surged, his body convulsing through an orgasm that left him tingling.
He was helpless when Hannibal pulled back, limbs weak, vision hazy. Hannibal nuzzled their noses together, rocking into Will slow, deep, drawing out his pleasure until he was whimpering.
“No more bites,” Will murmured, smiling up at Hannibal with half-lidded eyes.
“No more bites,” Hannibal promised, “just pleasure.”
Will couldn’t remember the last time someone had made love to him. He relaxed back in bed, lazily teasing his fingers through Hannibal’s hair as he continued to push into his body, taking his time now that Will was satisfied and content. It felt good. It felt too good. But the haze of post-coital bliss was only going to keep the pertinent thoughts at bay for so long. Will wrapped his legs around Hannibal and coaxed him deeper, gasping at the feeling, and bit his lip. Hannibal turned his face into Will’s cheek, breathed him in, whispered something in a language Will didn’t know. His pace stuttered, his entire form shivered, and then he was pressing lax and heavy against Will beneath him, hands worshiping over Will’s sides and up his arms.
How exactly did one have a relationship with an undead being? How did one tiptoe around the fact that he couldn’t bring his boyfriend to a gathering during the day? Or that he didn’t eat anything? Or drink anything, ever?
And how was it going to go if Will never let Hannibal turn him, if he continued to age and Hannibal did not?
“Eternity’s a long time,” Will murmured after a while, wrapping his arms around Hannibal’s middle.
“I’m well aware,” Hannibal replied, voice low and quiet. “I’ve been suffering it alone until now.”
Will snorted, he couldn’t help it. “You’re a sap.”
“Soulmates are rare.”
Will made a sound in his throat and swallowed, turning his cheek against Hannibal’s as he watched shadows move across the walls, dogs getting up and stretching, sniffing about in the kitchen.
“What if -”
“You needn’t decide now.”
“Gonna keep me around as a tasty snack?” Will joked.
“More than that.” Hannibal’s voice was a low murmur as he nosed along Will’s throat. “Will, should you decide against eternity, I would like to spend the remainder of your time by your side.”
Will tilted his head to catch Hannibal’s gaze. “You’re really serious about this soulmate thing, aren’t you?”
“I’ve lived hundreds of years of boredom. Not a single person has truly caught my interest before you. I have no other name to call it by.”
“Insanity,” Will suggested.
“Then let it be a madness shared by two.”
Will hummed, letting Hannibal nuzzle him. “I was never particularly well-acquainted with sane anyway.” he decided. For a while, they lay together, just touching, learning each other, before Will laughed quietly.
“D’you… do you mind if I actually eat dinner?” He asked, offering an apologetic look when Hannibal’s eyes narrowed in amusement. “You’ve had yours. Besides, I still have questions.”
“I suppose I owe you answers.”
Will snorted. “You suppose.” He looked at him, taking in the panes of Hannibal’s face, the way his eyes, though only half open, were brighter than Will ever remembered seeing them. Then he arched up to kiss Hannibal again, lips to lips, soft enough to barely feel.
“I enjoy the smell of garlic,” Hannibal murmured against him, “have quite an affinity for crucifixes, and the sun is an irritant, more than a guarantee of my demise.”
Will licked his lips, trying to keep his smile at bay and failing. He kissed Hannibal again before deliberately pushing him up and off, allowing Will to swing his legs over the side of the bed.
“My main question,” Will said, slipping his boxers back on before stretching his body from toes to fingers. “And this might be dealbreaker, honestly. Is how the hell do you get a boner?”
Hannibal lay on the bed, head tilted as he regarded Will before him, and at his question merely smiled. This time, he showed his teeth.