They’re standing at the edge of the world.
At least that’s what it feels like.
Hannibal is looking over the bluff, his hair tousled. It’s unfair how dignified he looks in a jumpsuit.
“The bluff is eroding,” Hannibal says. “There was more land when I was here with Abigail. More land still when I was here with Miriam Lass.”
“Now you’re here with me,” Will mutters, his gaze on the waters below.
“And the bluff is still eroding. You and I are suspended over the roiling Atlantic. Soon all of this will be lost to the sea.”
Hannibal moves away to enter the cliff house, leaving Will alone as he stares at the horizon. He doesn’t know why he feels trepidation at the thought of entering the house with Hannibal more than he fears their impending encounter with the Red Dragon.
He sighs after a few minutes, the wind biting into his skin. He makes a slow trek into the house and closes the door behind him.
Hannibal is nowhere to be seen, so Will takes the time to look around the house. It looks as if it’s been cleaned recently – the furniture and ornaments appear to be well-maintained and there was minimal dust settling on any of the surfaces he touches. He chuckles at the sight of the piano-forte. Hannibal is always prepared for every eventuality.
His throat works at the thought of Abigail having played the piano while she was staying here; a secret for Will to unravel.
There are sounds of shuffling behind him as Hannibal comes to stand beside him, the man content to stare at him before speaking.
“Would you like some refreshments?” Hannibal asks, ever the gracious host. “Or would you prefer to retire to one of the rooms upstairs to refresh yourself?”
Will smiles wryly. “Can’t stand to smell me in the same aftershave? I suppose you’ve been holding back from commenting on it during the entire car ride.”
Hannibal inclines his head, his mouth quirked in a small smile. “I’m merely suggesting a rest before the esteemed Red Dragon joins us. There are spare clothes for you in one of the guestrooms, if you would like to shower.”
Will pauses at that. He has a moment of clarity of Hannibal having prepared for everything for their expected departure with Abigail – clothes tailored to his exact measurements, passports and documentations, probably a bottle of aftershave that Hannibal favors. He turns away from Hannibal’s probing stare, his silence telling.
“Do you have whiskey?” Will asks in lieu of response.
“Would that be wise? It would be better to be sober for our friend tonight.”
“When have I ever been wise, Hannibal?” Will holds Hannibal’s gaze, daring him to refute the statement.
“Very well,” Hannibal relents. “I will just be a moment. Please have a seat.”
Hannibal turns to walk to his kitchen while Will settles himself on one of the long couches, staring unseeingly through the wide windows.
He moves slightly to make some space for Hannibal on the couch when Hannibal joins him, handing him a glass of whiskey. Will takes an unhurried drink, aware that Hannibal is staring at him while he does so. He ignores Hannibal, savoring the whiskey in a determined manner instead.
“Tell me, Will,” Hannibal says, breaking the silence after several long minutes. “Was all this according to your plan?”
Will sighs through his nose, his fingers drumming against the empty glass. “I might need another drink for this conversation.”
Hannibal chuckles softly. “Will you also use it as an excuse to refuse further intimacy? Or to accept it?”
Will narrows his eyes at the other man. “There’s no intimacy in the first place.”
“I would argue that we have always been intimate. Do you not see me at my core, and did I not see you in return? We are at our most intimate here, in this moment. You have finally returned to me,” Hannibal says calmly. “You only allow me small morsels of yourself to whet my appetite.”
“Cannibal puns? Really?”
“It seems you prefer them over my extension of friendship.”
Will grits his teeth. “Your friendship has cost me more scars on my body and my psyche than anything else ever would.”
Hannibal had the audacity to smile, clearly loving the thought of marking Will in a way no one else could.
“I’m not using alcohol to deny our intimacy, or whatever it is you think we have between us,” Will spits out.
Hannibal seems satisfied, moving closer to Will deliberately as if he’s wary of spooking Will into running away.
Will is done with running.
Hannibal’s hands wrap softly around his, loosening Will’s grasp around the glass he’s holding. Hannibal removes the glass and discards them on the side table. “Would you allow me to show you how intimate I wish we could be?”
Will can’t say he’s surprised at Hannibal’s suggestion – it’s not like he hasn’t thought of it before, of how different things could be if they had decided on a different progression in their relationship. He doesn’t know if it’s better to be here right now or if it would have been easier if he had given in to his desires for companionship back when Hannibal was still his psychiatrist.
Hannibal’s hands return to his skin while he is absorbed in his thoughts. Hannibal cradles his face, the touch searing. He thinks of all the times when Hannibal had touched him similarly, and he can’t help but react to it, his eyes fluttering closed as Hannibal leans in to kiss him.
His lips were chapped, but it didn’t seem to matter to Hannibal, who seems intent on devouring him. His lips part on an inhale, Hannibal deftly taking the opportunity to explore him further.
They kiss for several minutes before Hannibal pulls away, his gaze pulling Will apart at the seams as they take in each other’s disheveled state.
“May I take you the bedroom?”
Will can’t blame his decision on the whiskey. It feels like his body is betraying him as he follows Hannibal upstairs and they swiftly remove each other’s clothes, neither of them taking their time for fear that the moment would break.
He’s only dimly aware of his own actions as he lies down on the bed, both of them taking a few seconds to appraise each other before Hannibal prowls on top of him, a jar of lube in his hand.
“You were expecting this,” Will breathes out, accepting the kiss Hannibal bestows upon him as his fingers probe Will’s entrance.
“I was hoping for it. I could never predict you, Will.”
His name on Hannibal’s tongue is becoming too much. Hannibal takes his time to open him up, Will trembling at the other man’s touch and kisses. Hannibal swallows his moans when his fingers press against Will’s prostate, the touch igniting a jolt of pleasure through him.
“Would you have let anyone see you like this?” Hannibal asks in between his light kisses.
Will smiles bitterly. “Do you think you’re special, Hannibal? I was desperate for connection, remember?” Hannibal presses his prostate more insistently at that, Will gasping and grasping at Hannibal’s arms to anchor himself.
“You would let anyone pull you apart like this after a few drinks?” Hannibal didn’t sound disappointed, only curious. Will wants to shatter that cool veneer. Hannibal removes his fingers before he could say anything else, positioning his cock at Will’s entrance when he hears no further answer.
Will fights to control his labored breathing as Hannibal slowly enters him, his toes curling at the sensation of being filled when Hannibal finally bottoms out inside him.
Both of them are similarly affected now, Hannibal staring at Will in awe and adoration in equal measures.
“No,” Will whispers hoarsely, “they only see me as much as I let them.”
Hannibal hears the implication behind the words, his smile soft as he leans in to kiss Will again.
“Hannibal, move,” he pleads.
Hannibal pulls out halfway before driving in again, his thrusts slow and forceful. Will wraps his arms around Hannibal’s shoulders, pulling Hannibal closer to him, encouraging him. His eyes flutter close once more, his silent pleas for more buried inside his moans. His hands roam Hannibal’s back, caressing over the scar of the Verger’s crest while Hannibal continues his claims on Will’s body.
“Will,” Hannibal murmurs, his hand cupping Will’s face, his fingers moving in a soft caress against his scarred brow. Will opens his eyes at the silent request, Hannibal’s eyes intent as he takes in Will’s pleasured expressions.
Will could see too much of his own emotions mirrored in Hannibal’s (or is it the other way around? Does it matter? Are they not conjoined?), but he couldn’t look away, Hannibal’s hand tilting his chin towards him. Hannibal pauses in his movement, making Will whine in protest.
Hannibal only chuckles before kissing him softly. “Would you let me have this forever then? After we have slain the dragon?”
“You think I’ve succumbed to this only to go back to Molly afterwards?”
Hannibal growls at the mention of Molly’s name, his eyes dark and possessive. “I fear that’s no longer an option.”
“Then stop asking and have me, Hannibal.”
Hannibal smiles at the irritation in his voice, his eyes crinkling at the corners. He adjusts his position slightly, pulling Will’s legs wider apart and lifting them off the bed before he drives back inside Will.
Will groans at the change in angle, Hannibal brushing against his prostate insistently. He couldn’t speak even if he wanted to, the pace intense as Hannibal thoroughly claims him, his feet dangling in the air with no purchase. He closes his eyes once more, letting Hannibal set the pace. He doesn’t need to see Hannibal to know how affected he is at the sight of Will beneath him, his body malleable under Hannibal’s touches.
He can feel himself getting closer to the edge, the sounds of their pleasures mingling with the obscene sounds of skin slapping against skin. Will feels his body tightening around Hannibal, finding his release as he screams Hannibal’s name.
Hannibal groans, the rhythm in his thrusts faltering. He kisses Will fiercely when he finally comes inside him, both of them moaning at the sensation. Will is finally aware enough to reciprocate, his hands cupping Hannibal’s face as they kiss languidly for several minutes, neither of them showing any signs of wanting to stop.
The feel of their sweat-soaked, sated skin against one another is exquisite. Will wonders if he could let Hannibal have him like this again after all of this is over. He doesn’t want to examine his feelings too closely, and Hannibal is content to let him be as he kisses Will again and again.
“Making up for lost time, are we?” Will chuckles when they finally they pull apart.
“Yes,” Hannibal answers, unashamed and unwavering. “I have only ever touched you in my mind palace for the last three years.”
Will softens at the admission. “You couldn’t have told me you wanted me before you gutted me?”
Hannibal pauses slightly, resting his head against Will’s nape as they inhale each other’s scent. “You betrayed me before I could put it into words.”
Will’s jaw clenches slightly before he takes a deep breath and exhales. “We can make up for lost opportunities once the Red Dragon has been put to rest.”
Hannibal hums lightly. “Do you believe in what you’re saying, Will?”
Will is silent for a long time, his hand tracing lazy patterns against Hannibal’s scarred back. “I do at this particular time.”
Hannibal smiles. “You will never cease to amaze me, incredible boy.” He shifts slightly, pulling out of Will before he settles himself even closer to Will.
Will feels sticky with sweat, semen, and lube, but he lets Hannibal cradle him into his arms. He will let Hannibal have him forever in this suspended moment they have together. Just for now.