They’d started keeping track of how much time passed from the time Hannibal showed up, to the time he put his hands on Will in some fashion. The record was thirty-seven seconds, but Price had ten bucks on Hannibal beating it by September.
There had been a time in which the entirety of the BAU would have sworn up and down that Will was a crochety old man in a 30-year-old’s body, that he would never want to touch or be touched, and that he likely intentionally scared off anyone who saw his pretty face and considered him dating material.
And then Hannibal had started turning up everywhere Will was.
Jack had been the first to bear witness to Hannibal’s unwavering affection. After they closed the Minnesota Shrike case, and presumably (hopefully) after their psychiatric sessions had wrapped up, Hannibal began to invite himself along whenever Jack borrowed Will’s mind. At first, Jack presumed he was keeping an eye on Will’s mental health, and perhaps he was, but it involved long, lingering kisses by the car when Will was done recreating an event, then pressing their foreheads together and whispering softly.
As the agent in charge of the investigation, it was presumably Jack’s responsibility to go over and tell them to knock it off; a crime scene was not an appropriate place for making out.
Jack chose the far easier and less embarrassing option of ‘crouching to watch maggots crawl in and out of a bullet wound so that he could pretend he didn’t know what was going on.”
It only got worse from there.
Brian and Will did not get along. Beverly was fairly sure it was jealousy; Will had discounted one too many of Brian’s theories for Brian not to hate him.
Jimmy thought it was a crush, but Jimmy was the type to think up absolutely outlandish affairs for all of their coworkers, as a way to pass the time. Beverly had learned not to take him too seriously.
At every available opportunity, Will and Brian bickered. They snapped back and forth over autopsies, Brian always attempting to one-up Will, Will completely unaware of the rivalry and merely trying to get work done and go home.
What really got to Brian, though, was being ignored. Being dismissed.
He was spitting mad when Will turned away from him, while Brian was mid-sentence, to greet Hannibal.
“You forgot your lunch,” Hannibal explained, holding up a cooler.
“I didn’t pack a lunch.”
“And yet here I am, holding one.”
The intimacy of the moment was uncomfortable. Will looked entirely overwhelmed by the care he’d been shown.
It was all ruined by Brian stepping into Beverly’s line of sight, hissing “Did you see that? Right when I was explaining the cause of death, he just…”
“Yeah,” Jimmy said, “he abandoned you for a gourmet meal. As we all would.”
Brian didn’t talk to any of them for an hour. It made work difficult.
Alana felt like she was intruding, somehow.
She’d been personally invited to dinner, and Hannibal had even pulled out his homebrewed beer for the occasion, and yet she felt like the friend going stag on prom night.
They were just so… soft together.
It was not a word she would have normally ascribed to either of them, and in fact, Will seemed as guarded as ever, shoulders somewhere around his ears as if letting go of tension would literally kill him.
Hannibal bent low over Will to pour wine into his glass, lower than necessary, whispering something in his ear until his shoulders finally relaxed.
And then pressed a warm, lingering kiss to his cheek.
Alana had never seen Hannibal express any form of PDA, even when she’d interned and there’d been rumors of his conquests.
Hannibal frowned, then pressed his lips to Will’s temple, inhaling softly. “Darling, you’re warm.”
Will flushed and brushed him off. “I’m fine. We’ve talked about this.”
Whatever it was they’d talked about, Hannibal didn’t seem entirely reassured. He kept his eyes on Will the entire time they ate. Alana felt like she wasn’t even there.
It was sweet.
Fredrick Chilton had wanted to meet Will Graham for years.
Ever since he first popped up in psychiatric circles, ever since Fredrick first began to hear of his unerring, frighteningly accurate empathy.
All he wanted was to have a few minutes alone with the man, some time to probe deep into the fascinating mind that produced such apt deductions.
That Hannibal had clearly gotten to him first made Fredrick’s blood boil.
They arrived together to investigate the crime scene Abel Gideon had left behind. Hannibal stood at Will’s heel every step of the way, a faithful guard dog.
Will seemed utterly uninterested in redirecting him, as well. The man who had a reputation for self-isolation let the doctor breathe down his neck and… touch him.
“Your head,” Hannibal murmured, when Will crouched to inspect the body.
“Yeah, how’d you know?” Will whispered back, wincing.
“I know your tells.”
Hannibal crouched before him, pressing a palm to Will’s forehead. “I have aspirin in the car.”
“I have some.”
Hannibal’s eyes narrowed, his stare unwavering. Fredrick cleared his throat.
“Gentlemen, the murder.”
Will scowled up at Beverly from the hospital bed. Hannibal was fluffing his pillows. Not hospital pillows, either. Beverly could practically guess the thread count from the doorway. It looked as though Hannibal had attempted to cram as much of his bedding from home into Will’s hospital room as possible.
Beverly pulled a chair right up to the edge of Will’s bed, one eyebrow raised. “So, were you just gonna keep going until you passed out or what?”
“I asked him very much the same thing,” Hannibal said approvingly.
“If you’re both going to pick on me, you can leave,” Will snapped. “The doctor said I needed rest.”
“Let the man look after you,” Beverly insisted. As she spoke, Hannibal was fussing with a tray, settling it over Will’s lap so he could uncap a container that smelled divine.
“You made me chicken soup?” Will asked, looking the slightest bit guilty.
“Oh my god, Will, marry this man,” Beverly said, mouth watering at the sight.
“No,” Hannibal said, rubbing his thumb in gentle circles over the back of Will’s hand. “That’s not until next year.”