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“It is day….two hundred and twenty two. The sun is shining, I’m drinking cheap beer, and you’re still not here.” 

 

Will sighed, taking a sip of his beer, and smiled at his phone camera. 

 

“You got away,” he said, trying not to let his voice waver, “I know you did. They’d be splattering it all across the screen on every single station if you were dead or captured.” 

 

He hated how upset he was talking to what was essentially himself. Hannibal might never see these videos, or even care to watch them when he returned. They were a distraction, a compulsion, and if Hannibal were here he’d say a sentimental gesture. 

 

Will smiled. “You’re too stubborn to get captured before we even shared a kiss. I mean, those few months we had….they were the start of something I know you want to be here to finish.” 

 

There was an ache in his chest and Will felt tears that he didn’t want to let fall. 

 

“So this is me saying for another day that I’m waiting, and if you don’t get here soon I’m gonna start buying dogs. They might ruin all your expensive rugs. Just throwing that out there. Goodnight.” 

 

He ended the video blinking back tears, taking a long chug of his beer as the sound of nature echoed around the backyard of the secluded home he’d been living alone in for over seven months. The scenery was lovely this time a year but all it did was remind Will he was the only one here. 

 

And maybe he always would be. 

 

Will stuffed the phone in his pocket and headed for the house, hating how upset making these videos made him but knowing he wouldn’t stop. 

 

Couldn’t stop. 

 

If he stopped then it meant that he’d given up on Hannibal. 

 

He’d done that before and promised himself he wouldn’t again. 

 

The house inside was larger than it looked, immaculately and expensively decorated though Will had no use for the pretty things that shone around him. 

 

This was meant for Hannibal to show off to him, to tell him silly ridiculous facts that he didn’t give a shit about but would’ve listened to like he did. 

 

Will sniffled and wiped the tears from his face as he headed into the kitchen. 

 

The kitchen was his least favorite room of the whole house because it would’ve been Hannibal’s favorite. 

 

Every time he came into the kitchen he thought about Hannibal picking out every nook and cranny, excited at the prospect of one day making food there, which only made things worse. 

 

The last day they’d shared together Will remembered Hannibal’s smile as he watched him eat the human steak he’d cooked to perfection. He’d spouted off the fancy ingredients he’d added to the meat and all Will had noticed was how happy he’d seemed. 

 

Will had been standing on the precipice of finally giving into the warmth building between them, so close to ready, when the sound of a gun cocking ruined everything. 

 

They’d been found. 

 

Hannibal had gone over with him their next location in agonizing detail, forced him to memorize everything in case of emergency, so he’d known where to head next. But when they’d tried to run and someone grabbed Will all Hannibal could do was see red. 

 

The rest of it was a blur. 

 

Will only knew that when he got away into the woods, fighting for breath, he was alone. 

 

And he still was. 

 

He opened the freezer and took out a frozen pizza with a sigh, unwrapping and putting it onto the pan before shoving it into the oven at 400 degrees. 

 

Hannibal would’ve been scandalized how often he ate frozen pizza. 

 

He felt a tear fall down his cheek and laughed. 

 

“Fucking pizza.” 

 

Will pulled out his phone and pressed record again as he smiled into the camera. 

 

“I miss your fancy food,” he scoffed, “Or at least you trying so hard to make everything fancy when all I really cared about was you. I never gave a shit about what you were feeding me. I just...fuck.” 

 

He stopped the video, slamming his phone down just as a ding caught his attention. 

Will had set his phone for article alerts that mentioned his or Hannibal’s name that were often just bogus clickbait but he checked every time. 

 

This one was from Freddie, many always were, but the headline was what caught his attention. 

 

HANNIBAL LECTER DEAD

 

He gasped, shaking his head as he read. 

 

Hannibal the Cannibal was shot dead by police in a chase that has lasted months amid speculation and rumor. Jack Crawford confirms….

 

Will heard the phone hit the floor as it fell from his hand as tears flowed freely down his face. 

 

“No, no, no,” he whispered, shaking his head, “No, no, Hannibal….” 

 

There was a loud creak that echoed through the kitchen doorway and Will froze, sniffling as he stood. He slowly stalked across the kitchen for the knife block and pulled out the biggest butcher knife.

 

Hannibal was dead. 

 

And now maybe he could take revenge out on whoever decided today was a good day to die. 

 

Another creak, closer now, made Will bare his teeth before the kitchen door swung open. 

 

He threw the knife before the intruder could get further and watched as they ducked just barely in time. 

 

“If I had known you would be so upset with me I would’ve come through the back door.” 

 

Will froze as Hannibal stood up with the knife in his hand. 

 

“You….” 

 

He frowned. “Will?”

Will rushed at him hard, pushing Hannibal into the nearest counter as he crashed their lips together. It was a rushed kiss, crass and nothing like he’d imagined but it was theirs. He felt Hannibal freeze up but then pull him closer, his hold tight as he tasted Will fully. 

 

They parted for breath and Hannibal put his hand on Will’s cheek, wiping away some tears. 

 

“Hello, Will.” 

 

“You asshole .” 

 

“You missed me?” 

 

“Everyday,” Will whispered, kissing him again, “You....”

“I apologize for the delay,” Hannibal said, breathless, “Uncle Jack had been on my trail for some time and it was hard to get past him so I…” 

 

“...faked your death,” Will said hoarsely, shaking his head, “I just read Freddie’s article.” 

 

Hannibal pressed his cheek to Will’s. “I apologize for upsetting you.” 

 

“It’s been seven months.” 

 

“I know,” Hannibal said softly, nuzzling his cheek, “And everyday apart from you was worse than the last.” 

 

Will pushed him back, sniffling. “You could’ve left me something! Some sign that you were okay!” 

 

“Will, there was no---” 

 

“Bullshit.” 

 

“I did not want them to find you because of my recklessness.” 

 

He sighed. “You’re so damn lucky I just saw the article now. If I’d had to think you were dead for more than a few seconds I…” 

 

Hannibal smiled and came over to him again, putting his hand on Will’s hip as he pulled him in closer. “I’m quite happy to know you would mourn me so much, and that you...are no longer afraid of your feelings for me.” 

 

“I wasn’t afraid before,” Will mumbled, putting a hand over Hannibal’s. 

 

“Reluctant.” 

 

“Maybe.” 

 

“It’s comforting to know your stubbornness hasn’t changed.” 

 

Will smiled. “Neither has yours.” 

 

“Will, I…” 

 

A loud beep went off and Hannibal turned to look at the stove. “You’re cooking something?” 

 

“Yeah,” Will said, I…” 

 

Hannibal moved to open the oven and Will almost stopped him but didn’t move. 

 

“Frozen pizza? Will, this house gets fully stocked every month via grocery deliveries I myself have arranged. I know that there had to be something more appetizing than…”

Will grabbed him hard and pulled them into another kiss. 

 

He felt tears on his cheeks as he did but Hannibal only growled, pulling him closer. 

 

When they parted Will was smiling so hard his mouth hurt. 

 

“I love you,” he said, shaking his head, “You…” 

 

Hannibal’s eyes shone with tears as he smiled, reaching out to touch Will’s cheek. 

 

“I love you too, Will,” he whispered, kissing him again, “But I will not allow you to put that monstrosity into your body. Throw it away and I will cook you whatever you desire.” 

 

“What I desire is frozen pizza.” 

 

“Will…” 

 

He rocked himself against Hannibal who shivered. “If you want me to touch you again, step away from the oven.” 

 

Hannibal stepped away and Will took out the pizza and set it on top of the oven, turning off everything before he looked at him fully. He’d grown out his beard since they’d been apart just enough to make him look a little different but exactly the same. 

 

“I like pizza, and pizza didn’t leave me worrying about it for seven months.”

“Perhaps, I was….harsh in my judgement of your food choices.” 



Will came up and pulled him into his arms again, reaching out to touch his chin. 

 

““I like the scruff.” 

 

“I thought you might.” 

 

He pressed a kiss to Hannibal’s cheek and whispered in his ear. “I’m happy you’re here.” 

 

Hannibal pressed their foreheads together. “So am I.”