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“Are you still having trouble sleeping?” Hannibal asked, watching as Will pushed his glasses up to rub his eyes.

“Yes,” Will said. “I can’t fall asleep. If I do, I wake up every few hours. Or I dream.” It went without saying that his dreams may as well not count for sleep.

“What do you do before bed?”

“Let the dogs out, go over lesson plans,” Will shrugged.

“Nothing consistent?”

“I brush my teeth,” he sniped, then immediately felt a little embarrassed. “I don’t have a schedule.”

“It may be helpful to develop a set routine,” Hannibal said. “Whether that is reading, or perhaps journaling, or even brushing your teeth.” A ghost of a smile played across his lips, and Will returned it somewhat sheepishly.

“Do you regularly masturbate before bed?” Hannibal asked.

Will leaned back in his chair, expression shuttered. “What does that have to do with anything?”

Hannibal quirked an eyebrow. “Orgasm causes the release of endorphins and dopamine, both of which are conducive to sleep, and stress relief – relax the body and the mind.” He paused. “Are you sexually active, Will?”

Will huffed a laugh. “What do you think?”

Hannibal gave an almost imperceptible shrug. “I wouldn’t presume to know.” He waited then, and in the quiet, Will felt his heartbeat must be loud enough for Hannibal to hear it.

“Sex is… messy,” Will said, finally, and he appreciated that Hannibal seemed to know how he meant it. “People expect things, and it requires an intimacy…” he trailed off, shoulders collapsing down from a shrug.

“When was the last time you had an orgasm?”

Will gave the same shuddering laugh and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees to put his head in his hands. He could feel Hannibal’s gaze on him, steady and inscrutable as always.

“It has been a while,” he admitted at length, sitting back up to look at Hannibal. He couldn’t actually remember the last time he’d felt the need, let alone done something about it.

Hannibal made a quiet sound of acknowledgement. “Have you always had a low sex drive?”

Will nodded.

“Have you had sex?” Hannibal asked.

Will scoffed, annoyed. “Of course.”

“I find it better not to assume,” Hannibal said mildly. “There is an entire spectrum of human sexuality, and many reasons an individual may be celibate, whether due to access or disinterest.”

Will exhaled, tension leeching from his shoulders. “It’s less the access, for me,” he said. “More the inclination.”

Hannibal fixed Will with an expression that was hard to read, something between curiosity and caution.

“I’d like you to try something,” Hannibal said. He paused before he continued, and Will felt his stomach twist. “I’d like you to orgasm before bed at least once this week, see how you sleep.”

Will felt a flash of anger he couldn’t quite explain, and he shook his head. “I just told you,” he said, “I don’t need to.”

“Sex may not fill an emotional need for you, Will, but that doesn’t mean the release wouldn’t be good for your body. As always, it is only a suggestion.”

“Yes, well. Let’s move on, please,” Will gritted out.

Hannibal gave a single, slow nod, and changed the subject.

*******************************************

“I hesitate to ask,” Hannibal said as the session was drawing to a close, “given how you responded initially, but did you give any thought to my suggestion from last week?”

Will had already stood up, and he briefly considered playing dumb, picking up his coat, and walking out. But his head had been a low ache all day, and he didn’t have the energy.

“I thought about it,” he said. It was true. He’d thought about it every night, once had even slipped a hand into his boxers, but when he closed his eyes the first thing he saw was death, a tangle of limbs and blood and antlers. More and more, it was hard to see anything else.

Hannibal waited, but when Will didn’t seem forthcoming, he nodded, picking up his notepad and pen.

“Well, then. I will see you –”

Will cut him off. “Do you masturbate?”

Hannibal pursed his lips, eyes flickering around Will’s face. His tongue darted out to wet his upper lip, as though he was tasting the air, and he set the notepad back down.

“I do.”

“What do you think about?”

“What do I think about?” Hannibal asked, “Or who?”

“Either,” Will said, unwilling to dwell on the distinction.

“Past partners, typically.” Hannibal replied.

“And atypically?”

“What are you trying to ask me, Will?” Hannibal asked. “What do you see when you close your eyes?”

Will turned away from him and scrubbed a hand over his face.

Behind him, he heard Hannibal quietly say, “I see.” Then, louder. “I apologize. I should have considered how recent events might be impacting your ability to fantasize.”

Will nodded tiredly. “I tried, once. Started to. I couldn’t call anything to mind, and when I closed my eyes…”

“What did you see?” Hannibal asked.

“Death,” Will replied, meeting his eyes.

“You have a powerful imagination. Before Garret Jacob Hobbs, did you indulge in sexual fantasies?”

Will took a few steps away, across the room. “Not often. I’ve watched porn, but,” he shrugged, distaste flickering across his expression. “It doesn’t typically interest me.”

“There is a profound disconnection in pornography,” Hannibal said. “It is unsurprising you do not feel drawn to it. But perhaps a lover you’ve been with, someone you desire you could call to mind.”

“I don’t like to, to fantasize about people I know,” Will muttered, looking anywhere but at Hannibal. “It feels rude.”

Hannibal made a soft noise of assent, face betraying nothing even had Will been looking.

“And what if someone were to give you permission?”

Will’s eyes darted up, then. “A little presumptuous don’t you think, Dr. Lecter?” He drew out the word Doctor, curling his mouth around it as if to reinforce the space between them in the room.

“I’m not sure what you mean,” Hannibal said, raising an eyebrow. “Unless you think I’m suggesting you would like to fantasize about me.” He trailed off, tilting his head ever so slightly to the side. “Do you want to fantasize about me, Will?”

Will twisted away from him, shoving one hand into his hair, fingers winding and catching in his unruly curls. He paced over to the windows and stood there. Hannibal didn’t move from his chair, didn’t uncross his legs or move the notepad from his lap, but his eyes never left Will.

“You would not be the first person to feel sexual desire for your psychiatrist,” Hannibal said.

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” Will snapped, glancing Hannibal’s direction without looking at him.

“You should not feel badly either way,” Hannibal answered, unflappable. “What is it about the suggestion that so upsets you? The nature of our relationship, or that I am a man?”

“It’s not that,” Will said. “I’ve been with– ” he broke off, shaking his head. “I don’t need sex, Dr. Lecter.”

“Do you enjoy sex?”

“Of course,” Will replied, throwing up his arms in exasperation as he turned back towards Hannibal. “Who doesn’t?”

“Plenty of people,” Hannibal answered. “If only because there are many mediocre lovers in this world.” His lips twitched into a smile, and Will huffed a laugh almost in spite of himself.

“I do enjoy sex,” Will said. “I have, just, not very recently.” He fell quiet then, and it was clear it would be the last word on the matter.

Hannibal nodded, standing smoothly.

“I must apologize. My suggestion seems to have caused you some emotional distress, and that was certainly not my intent. You are free to discuss anything you like, of course, but I will not return to this conversation except at your direction.”

Will waved him off, crossing the room to pick up his coat. “Please,” he shook his head. “Don’t apologize, there’s no need.”

Hannibal inclined his head. “Have a good evening.”

*******************************************

Will heard the phone click, a breath before Hannibal spoke.

“Will, is everything alright?” his voice was sleep-raspy, and deeper than usual.

“I can’t sleep,” Will answered, and in the ensuing silence briefly worried he’d made a mistake.

“What would you like me to do about it?” Hannibal asked.

“Help me,” Will said, giving weight to his voice so the intent carried.

“I need you to be very clear,” Hannibal said, holding each word like they were something fragile. “How do you want me to help you?”

“I want to listen to you talk,” Will said.

On the other end of the line, Hannibal made a noise that rumbled like a purr.

“To what end, Will? You have to tell me.”

Will opened his mouth, hesitated. “Please don’t tell Jack.” It wasn’t what he’d expected to say, but he suddenly realized that fear was at the core of the ball of anxiety weighing on his chest. If he’d been with Hannibal then, he’d have seen shock bloom across his face like a slap, followed by anger and then something even colder.

“Never,” Hannibal assured him, voice like steel.

“I want to get off to your voice,” Will said, resolve and anticipation mixing then, fortifying. “I want to listen to you talk.”

“I can do that for you,” Hannibal said. “But first, tell me where you are.”

“Do you want to know what I’m wearing?” Will asked, teasing.

“I do,” Hannibal affirmed. “Paint me a picture.”

“I’m in bed,” Will said. “I turned the AC up. I tend to run hot, especially at night. This way, I can sleep under the comforter.”

“Are you under the comforter now?”

“Not yet,” Will said.

“On top of the covers, then?”

“Yes,” Will said. “I’m in a t-shirt and boxers. I didn’t. I didn’t plan this.”

“Would you have dressed up, if you had?”

Will could hear the smile in Hannibal’s voice, and he laughed. “I’d look ridiculous.”

“I doubt that very much,” Hannibal said, and his voice had dipped low and intense. Will felt a rush of arousal, caught his lower lip between his teeth and took a deep breath.

“Are you with me, Will?” Hannibal asked.

“Yes,” Will said, startled by the sound of his own voice. “I’m here.”

“Put me on speaker,” Hannibal said. “You’re going to need both hands. Tell me when you’re done.”

Will fumbled with the phone, got Hannibal on speaker, and put the phone near his head on the pillow. “You’re on speaker.”

“Good,” Hannibal said. “I’m going to give you direction. If at any point you become uncomfortable, or would like me to stop, you must tell me.”

“I will.”

“Rest one hand on your stomach,” Hannibal said evenly, “palm down, spread your fingers out.”

Will did as he was instructed, immediately feeling more grounded.

“Take a deep breath into your stomach, feel the heat of your hand settle into your body.”

Will curled his fingers in his t-shirt, feeling the material bunch and catch against his skin. He shuddered into the breath as Hannibal directed, exhaled shakily.

“Again.”

Will took another breath, let it go.

“Very good,” Hannibal murmured. “Are your nipples sensitive?”

“A little,” Will answered.

Hannibal hummed. “Leave the hand on your stomach, reach up and rub one of your nipples with your thumb. Slowly, circle it.”

Will’s breathing stuttered as his t-shirt rasped across his nipple, switching from one to the other when Hannibal directed him.

“Take your shirt off, tell me when you’ve done it.”

“It’s off,” Will said, as soon as the shirt cleared his head.

“Good. Spread your legs, Will.” Hannibal said, and Will hadn’t been hard yet, but his cock jerked at Hannibal’s words.

“How wide?” he asked.

Hannibal laughed quietly. “So eager to please. Wide enough for me to rest between them if I were there. Wider than you have them,” he said.

Will spread his legs wider, feeling exposed. He wanted the heat of Hannibal between his legs, the warmth of another body there with him. He felt his cock stiffening at the thought.

“What should I do with my hands?”

“Run your fingernails along your inner thighs, from the knee all the way up, but don’t touch yourself yet. Keep going until I tell you to stop.”

“Do you want me to be gentle?” Will asked. “Or do you want me to leave a mark?”

Hannibal exhaled sharply, and Will’s arousal quickened at the sound.

“Be firm,” Hannibal said, “but don’t break the skin. I’m not there to tend to you.” He kept talking, low, even, as Will dragged his fingers up and down the soft skin of his thighs, the heat of his groin he ached to touch. His breathing stuttered, and he paused, nails midway down the thigh.

“Hannibal,” he exhaled.

“Are you alright?”

“I need to touch myself,” Will said, and he had to force himself to speak above a whisper.

“Not yet,” Hannibal said. “You’re doing so good for me, Will. You can be patient a while longer.”

“Yes,” Will said.

“Take your boxers off.” He paused. “You’re not wearing socks, are you?”

Will choked on a laugh, gasping a little as the band of his boxers dragged against his cock.

“No socks.”

“Good,” Hannibal said, and Will could hear the amusement in his voice. “Now settle back again, hand on your stomach, but lower this time. Your thumb should rest below your navel.”

Will groaned, but did as instructed.

“Take two fingers of your other hand into your mouth, and suck on them.”

Will flushed as he put the middle and index fingers of his right hand into his mouth, sucking sloppily.

“They’re my fingers,” Hannibal said. “My fingers stroking your tongue.” He listened for a moment. “Deeper, Will. Can you take them all the way in?”

Will took a deep breath through his nose, relaxed and sucked his fingers all the way in to where they joined his hand, alternating between licking and sucking, as if it were Hannibal’s fingers in his mouth, Hannibal almost but not quite making him gag.

“Good, Will,” Hannibal said. “Now run your fingers over your mouth. I want your lips to feel used.”

“How do you know I was being good?” Will asked, even as he traced wet circles over and over his lips, pads of his fingers dragging and pressing.

“I know you,” Hannibal said. Then, “And I can hear your mouth working. Divine.”

“Fuck,” Will exhaled. His whole body felt alight, every sensation heightened. His cock began leaking and he dug his fingers into the comforter beside him. “Please, Hannibal. Please.”

“Please what?” Hannibal asked.

“Please let me touch.”

“Are you circumcised?”

“Yes. I’m leaking, I’m so hard.”

“Beautiful,” Hannibal said. “Take the two fingers you put in your mouth and run them along your cock, from the base up to the tip, then rub the head with your thumb.”

Will couldn’t help the whine that escaped when he did what Hannibal said, breath stuttering and shuddering as he circled his thumb over the tip of his cock. He bit down on his lower lip so hard he tasted cooper bloom in his mouth, and made a sharp noise.

“Easy,” Hannibal murmured. “You already sound close.”

“I am close,” Will answered. “I’m so. So close.”

“Good, then stroke yourself. But you must tell me when you are ready to come. You must wait.”

“I’m not sure how long I can,” Will broke off, gripping his cock tightly at the base. His tongue swept out and caught the blood welling from his lower lip again.

“Are you being good for me?” Hannibal asked.

“Yes,” Will exhaled. “Yes, Hannibal.”

“Then you can come,” Hannibal said. “Stroke yourself, do this for me. You’ve been so good Will,”

Will might’ve been embarrassed by how quickly he came if he’d had any room to be self-conscious, but as his body tensed with his orgasm and his hips jerked up into his hand the only thing in his mind was white-hot bliss and Hannibal’s voice praising him.

He collapsed back against the bed, a light sheen of sweat across his chest, panting open-mouthed as the aftershocks rippled through him.

“Well done,” Hannibal said, and Will was aware he’d been speaking the whole time, but he couldn’t have said what. “Are there tissues by the bed?”

Will glanced over at the bedside table. “Yes.” They felt very far away.

“Wipe yourself up. Do it now, before you can’t move any longer.”

“I already can’t move,” Will laughed softly. “You’ve broken me.”

“If I were there, I would get a warm washcloth and clean you myself,” Hannibal said, so matter-of-fact it made Will’s breath hitch. “But you must care for yourself in my absence.”

Will reached over and grabbed a couple tissues, wiping his stomach clean and dropping the tissues in the wastebasket by the bed.

“Would you be more comfortable if you put your clothes back on?” Hannibal asked.

“I don’t think I can move,” Will said, mostly serious.

“I should have expected as much,” Will could hear Hannibal’s smile again. “At least get under the covers before you sleep.”

Will slipped under the covers, pulling the topsheet and the comforter up to his chin. He felt warm and heavy, and he knew Hannibal was still talking, but he closed his eyes and fell into a deep, even sleep.

******************************************

“You look well-rested,” Hannibal said as they sat down, his eyes glittering laughter though his face remained impassive.

“I slept better last night than I have a long time,” Will said, grateful Hannibal had found an easy way to bring it up without coming right at it. “Thank you.”

“I was happy to assist,” Hannibal said, “and am gratified to see you looking so well today.”

“I have been thinking, though,” Will said, standing up again, “that I may owe you an apology.”

Hannibal looked genuinely surprised at that. “An apology? What for?”

Will winced, scrunching his face a bit as he looked to the side. “I used you.” He hated the question in his voice.

“Not at all,” Hannibal said. “You told me what you wanted, and I participated willingly.”

“Just think of it as an unconventional therapy?”

Hannibal looked like he was suppressing a grimace. “That is not how I considered last night.”

Will rubbed his eyes. “Did you get off?”

“No,” Hannibal gave the slightest shake of his head.

Will scoffed a little. “I used you.” He took a few steps away.

“Will,” Hannibal said, firmly enough that Will paused, hands clasped so tightly behind his back that his knuckles were white. “Last night was for you. I thought you might find my participation overly forward.”

“Overly forward?” Will choked out, turning to fix him with an incredulous look. “It was phone sex.”

“And not discussed in advance, or clearly negotiated. I wanted to be respectful.”

Will couldn’t help but laugh at that. “I’d survive a little disrespect.” He waited, unclasped his hands and flexed his fingers. “Were you aroused?”

“Painfully so,” Hannibal answered. “It would have taken very little to join you in release.”

“Do you find me attractive?” Will asked, skirting the room along the bookshelves.

“You are a work of art.”

“That’s not the same thing.”

“Isn’t it?” Hannibal said.

Will wasn’t sure what to say. He paused in front of one of the shelves, traced the spine of a book.

“Do you want to have sex with me, Will?” Hannibal asked. It was curiosity, not an invitation in his voice.

Will swallowed thickly, and nodded. He crossed the room and stood behind the chair across from Hannibal.

“It’s all I’ve been thinking about all day.” He’d woken up imagining Hannibal’s body pressing him back into the mattress, his elegant fingers on Will’s cock, his mouth. “But,” he forced himself to continue. “I don’t think it would be wise.”

“I’m inclined to agree,” Hannibal said, smoothing a hand over his thigh. “Sex is messy.”

Will ghosted a smile at hearing his words echoed back. “I think if I started, if we started…” he paused. “I wouldn’t know how to stop.”

Hannibal met his eyes and nodded almost imperceptibly. “Yes,” he agreed, expression something soft and careful.

“If I needed to, though,” Will said, after a while. “Could I call you again?”

“How would you determine need?” Hannibal asked.

Will flushed and looked down. “Maybe need is too strong a word.”

“I disagree,” Hannibal said. “Sleep is one of the most vital processes of the human body. A good night’s sleep can make you a new man.”

“Would you get off, if I called you?”

“Would you like me to?”

Will met Hannibal’s eyes. “I won’t call again if you wouldn’t.”

A smile played at Hannibal’s lips. “Then call whenever you like.”

Will laughed out loud and stepped around to sit down in his chair. “I may do that.”

*******************************************

It had been two weeks and Will hadn’t called yet. He’d thought about it, woken up in a sweat and wondered how many rings it would take for Hannibal to answer. He’d laid awake at night and imagined Hannibal’s voice, stared at his phone for hours, but he hadn’t called. He couldn’t put voice to why, and Hannibal hadn’t asked.
It had been a difficult crime scene. They were never easy, but these days Will felt like every new killer was sapping more of the light out of his world, bleak curtains drawing down from the sides until only splashes of color remained, gradually fading to pinpricks. He’d felt a weary gratefulness when Hannibal had told him to come over after they finished at the FBI.

“I’m afraid I won’t have dinner prepared,” Hannibal had said, “will leftovers do?”

Will had laughed tiredly. “Dr. Lecter, I’m reasonably certain your leftovers will be the best thing I’ve eaten all week.”

And now they were in Hannibal’s kitchen, leaning against opposite sides of the island, eating some kind of Asian noodle dish Hannibal had introduced and Will had promptly forgotten the name of. It had duck, and various vegetables, and Will wanted to cry it was so good. He’d protested Hannibal going to the effort of moving it from containers to actual bowls, but Hannibal had insisted. As he had insisted on the bottle of warmed sake that sat between them on the counter.

Will sipped at his, eyes fluttering closed as he savored it. Sake wasn’t a drink of choice, but as in all things, Hannibal had exquisite taste. When he opened his eyes again, Hannibal was watching him, expression unreadable. Will managed a curve of a smile and set his glass down.

“It’s very good.”

Hannibal smiled indulgently. “Typically I prefer a Daiginjo, but the Honjozo holds up better against spice. Less competition with the flavor of the food, with no loss of character.”

Will hummed and took another sip, and they finished eating in a companionable silence. Hannibal turned to put his bowl in the dishwasher, and Will came around the counter to hand his over. He let his eyes drift over Hannibal then, his simple white shirt accentuating his form, sleeves cuffed up above the elbow displaying muscled forearms. He was striking, and Will felt a stab of arousal watching him.

“Would you do something for me?” Will was briefly apprehensive as the words left his mouth, but let the warmth of the sake turn to resolve.

“Of course.” Hannibal finished loading the dishwasher and turned his full attention to Will.

Will swallowed twice, throat working convulsively. He met Hannibal’s steady gaze.

“Kiss me.”

Hannibal tilted his head, expression curious. “I thought you were afraid if we started, we wouldn’t be able to stop.”

“I want something I don’t have to imagine, when I listen to you.”

Hannibal watched Will for a moment, then shifted so he was leaned back against the counter. There was still space between them, but it was closer than they normally stood.

“Is that why you haven’t called?” Hannibal asked. “Your imagination is not enough to conjure up the idea of a warm body in your bed?”

“Your body,” Will corrected, “and it’s not that.” He looked down to where his hand rested on the edge of the marble countertop and flexed his fingers against it. “I can imagine your body, Hannibal. I don’t want to feel I’m only imagining your desire.”

Understanding colored Hannibal’s expression. “So you’d like assurance of my willing participation?”

“I’d prefer enthusiastic participation,” Will said.

“Ah,” Hannibal said. A smile rested at the corner of his mouth. He stood up from the counter and more slid than stepped forward.

“Are you sure about this?” Hannibal asked, lowering his head and looking at Will through his eyelashes.

“Yes,” Will said. “Just once.”

Hannibal reached out then, cupped Will’s cheek. Will hadn’t shaved, and Hannibal’s thumb rasped over two days of stubble.

“Playing with fire,” Hannibal murmured, as Will stepped in closer, a breath between them.

“Just once,” Will said again, then leaned in and pressed his mouth to Hannibal’s.

Hannibal was impassive, let Will kiss him without responding. Will made a soft noise against him, then pulled away, disappointment and embarrassment roiling in his gut. He was about to step back when Hannibal slipped his hand around the back of his neck and squeezed slightly.

“Impatient, Will. You asked me to kiss you.” He stroked his thumb along Will’s neck, and Will couldn’t keep from shuddering in pleasure. Hannibal let his hand slide back to Will’s face and pulled him in until their mouths almost touched.

Will parted his lips in anticipation, but Hannibal waited there, breath ghosting against Will’s lips. Will felt like he was about to come out of his skin, and he wanted to plead again, beg, even, but Hannibal closed the distance between them before he could. When Hannibal’s tongue swept into his mouth, Will melted forward against him, into it. He could taste the meal and the sake on Hannibal’s tongue, spice and sweet blurring in the warmth. Will put one hand on Hannibal’s shoulder, the other flat against his chest. He could feel the power of Hannibal’s body under his hands, the heat of him, and again he thought about what it would be like to get Hannibal into bed.

Hannibal had brought his other hand up, cradling the back of Will’s head, and he began stroking his fingers through Will’s hair, gentling. Hannibal pulled back just far enough to separate their lips, and Will made a small sound of displeasure. Hannibal rested his forehead against Will’s, chest rising and falling rapidly under his hand.

“You are a dangerous man, Will Graham.”

Will laughed quietly, and slid both hands down to settle on Hannibal’s hips. “Don’t tell Jack that.”

Hannibal’s fingers tightened briefly where they rested. “None of this is for Jack Crawford,” he murmured, tipping his head to kiss Will again, gentle and warm, almost chaste. Then he drew back, carefully breaking contact. Will exhaled heavily, reaching back to steady himself against the island.

Hannibal ran a hand over his hair and smoothed down the front of his shirt. He looked like he wanted to reach out for Will again, but he didn’t. He stepped around him and picked up their nearly-empty glasses of sake, handing one to Will and raising his own to him.

“To enthusiastic participation,” he said. Will raised his glass, and smiled as they drank.

*********************************************

A few nights later sleep again eluded Will. Jack had them staying in a hotel in Woodsboro, and it was the government rate, but even Jack had seemed skeptical at the dingy building and outdated rooms. They still had tube TVs, and the comforters were plasticky polyester in a riot of colors.

Will could hear the couple in the room next to him arguing, and the light from passing cars flashed periodically against the blinds. He’d showered, hoping that would settle him down, but he still felt wide awake. At last he went into the bathroom and grabbed the tissue box and small bottle of hand lotion. He settled on top of the covers and dialed Hannibal.

“Will,” Hannibal greeted, and Will felt an immediate stir of arousal. He briefly mused how much trouble he could be in if that started to be an issue at work, and had to stifle a laugh at the thought.

“Are you there?” Hannibal asked.

“Yes,” Will said. “I’m sorry, I was distracted by your voice.”

Hannibal made a pleased sound. “Flattery will get you everywhere. I have been looking forward to your call. Where does Jack have you staying tonight?”

“We’re outside Woodsboro. We’re going to talk to the family tomorrow morning, so he figured we should stay here overnight.”

“A heavy task,” Hannibal said.

“It is,” Will exhaled. “And the hotel is,” he searched for the right word, “it’s bad. I don’t know how they’re on the government list.”

Hannibal chuckled, a warm sound. “No bugs, I hope.”

“None that I’ve seen. I’ve been trying not to look very hard.”

“Tell me, Will, are you calling me for any particular reason?”

Will rolled his eyes. “It’s 10:30 at night. You know why I’m calling.”

“I’d like to hear you say it.”

“Every time?”

Hannibal paused. “I like hearing you say it.”

Will’s mouth went dry because, Oh, that he understood. He swallowed thickly. “I want to get off to your voice, Hannibal. I want to get you off.”

“Good,” Hannibal said. “Are you comfortable?”

“This comforter is awful,” Will said, teasing. “But yes. The AC isn’t working well here, so I may sleep on top of the covers. I’m in boxers, nothing else.”

“I’d thought you might be undressed for the occasion,” Hannibal said.

Will laughed. “I thought about it, but it felt…” he trailed off, feeling silly.

“How did it make you feel, Will? The thought of stripping bare for me and calling to hear my voice?”

Will inhaled, fingertips trailing up and down his chest. “Listening to you say it, sexy.”

“It should,” Hannibal said. “But before, when it was in your mind?”

“It felt wanton,” Will admitted, laughing self-deprecatingly. “Cheap.”

“Never feel the need to temper eagerness for the sake of appearances, not with me. Take your boxers off, tell me when you’ve done it.”

Will stripped them off and put Hannibal on speaker. “They’re off. What are you wearing?”

“A robe,” Hannibal replied. “Purple silk. Nothing else.”

“If I were there,” Will said, then hesitated, thumbs grazing back and forth over his nipples.

“What would you do?”

“I’d stroke you through it,” Will said. “Feel the silk against your skin.” He pressed one of his nipples harder than he’d intended and gasped sharply.

“Are you touching yourself, Will?” Hannibal asked.

“Just my chest.”

“Are you hard?”

“Getting there.”

“Good,” Hannibal said. “If you were here, would you kneel for me? Mouth my cock through the robe until your lips felt raw from the fabric?”

“Yes,” Will exhaled shakily, “and then I’d run my hands up your thighs, push the robe back, and breathe you in until I’d know you by the scent of your arousal alone.”
Hannibal made a wrecked sound, and Will’s cock twitched in response.

“I’m not sure how long I’m likely to last if you keep that up,” he said, a breathy note to his voice Will felt a rush of pride for putting there. “Do you ever finger yourself?” he asked.

“Not often,” Will said, “but I’ve got a bottle of lotion with me.”

“Lube, or lotion?” Hannibal clarified.

“Lotion,” Will confirmed, glancing at the bottle. “White citrus.”

“Taken from the hotel bathroom?” Hannibal asked, laughing.

“Working with the materials at hand,” Will said.

“I’ll have to put together a kit for you,” Hannibal mused, and Will’s stomach flipped. “But for tonight we will work with what we have. Would you finger yourself for me?”

“Yes,” Will choked out. “How do you want me?”

“Every way imaginable,” Hannibal replied simply, and Will’s breath stuttered. “But for tonight, feet flat on the bed, spread them as wide as is comfortable, and bring your heels in close to your ass.”

“I’m so hard,” Will laughed shakily, doing as he was told.

“Do you imagine you could come without touching your cock?” Hannibal asked. “Just from my voice, and your fingers?”

“God,” Will exhaled. “Probably.”

“I’d like you to try,” Hannibal said. “Will you be good for me, Will?”

“Yes,” Will said. “I’m spread out like you told me, I’m ready.”

“Waiting for me,” Hannibal breathed. “Go ahead and get some of the lotion on your fingers, warm it with your hands if you need.”

Will held the bottle near the phone in hopes the speaker would pick up the snick of the cap as he flipped it open and squirted a good amount on his fingers.

“Now what?” Will asked.

“I want you to run your fingers over your asshole. Don’t press in, stroke gently. Picture me as you do it. Picture my fingers, imagine it’s my touch on your body.”

Will did as instructed, didn’t try to hide the gasp that escaped as he touched himself, gut clenching.

“Good, Will,” Hannibal said. “Keep going, lightly.”

“Are you touching yourself?” Will asked, voice gone ragged.

“Yes,” Hannibal said, “I’m thinking about the way you must look, so willing, so eager. It’s a beautiful thing, your restraint even in the throes of such desire.”

“I’m struggling to remain restrained,” Will admitted, fingers stuttering over his skin.

“But you are,” Hannibal said. “The struggle is its own form of intimacy. Increase the pressure of your touch now, just two fingers, press against your asshole as if you were going to finger yourself, but don’t push inside.”

“You’re trying to kill me,” Will groaned.

“I’m trying to do many things,” Hannibal said, “but never that.”

“Hannibal,” Will said, feeling desperate. His hips lifted off the bed as he stroked over himself again, fingers catching the rim of his asshole, teasing.

“More lotion,” Hannibal said, and only the brevity of the command gave any indication of his own state.

Will smeared more lotion on his fingers. “I did it,” he said.

“Good, now press a finger inside, only one.”

“Do you have a preference?”

“Dealer’s choice,” Hannibal said, and Will could hear his smile.

Will pushed inside and gasped again, breath breaking off into a moan.

“Tell me which finger you’re using, Will. Tell me what you feel.”

“My index finger. It’s been a while,” he said. “I’m tight around it, but god it,” he broke off, biting his lip hard.

“Talk to me,” Hannibal said. “Tell me how you’re making yourself feel good for me.”

“I feel like a furnace,” Will said. “I’m so tight, it, it feels so good,” he took a deep breath. “I need more, it’s not enough.”

“Easy,” Hannibal murmured, “you can hold on. One for now, see if you can stimulate your prostate. Carefully, thrust until you’re deep enough to try.”

Will did as instructed, and when he brushed against his prostate he squeezed his eyes shut as he bit back a sob.

“You’re so good, Will,” Hannibal soothed. “Are you very close?”

“Yes, please,” he said, and he didn’t recognize his own voice.

“So polite,” Hannibal said, and he sounded gone as well. “Do you need another finger?”

“Not if you talk to me,” Will said, “tell me I’m good for you, I’m so close.”

“You’re a dream, Will,” Hannibal said. “So many unvoiced fantasies come to life. Can you pull your finger out for me, just for a moment.”

Will didn’t think he’d ever before made the keening sound that escaped as he withdrew his finger. He could feel himself clenching around the emptiness, and he had to cover his eyes with his clean hand to escape the intensity of it.

“You’re so good for me,” Hannibal said, speech gone ragged at the edges. “Waiting on the precipice together, and what a sight we must be.”

Will’s body thrummed, and he felt himself shaking against the bed, chest heaving with need.

“Press your finger back into yourself, Will, and work yourself until you come. Call my name, call out for me.”

“Hannibal,” Will said, a mangled plea, then again and again, “Hannibal, Hannibal, god, Hannibal,” and he came with an intensity that rocked him, hips bucking off the bed as his cock jerked, untouched, and come splattered across his belly. Through the white noise roaring in his ears, he was aware of Hannibal calling his name, of the sound Hannibal made as he came, and Will wished his own head was clearer, to commit it to memory like a tattoo in his mind.

“Are you with me, Will?” He heard Hannibal ask, and he couldn’t have said if it was the first or fifth time.

“I’m here,” Will said. “I feel… like I’m floating. Like you untethered something in me, and I’ve come loose from the earth.”

Hannibal’s laugh was warm and rich. “A poet now?”

Will huffed a laugh. “I wish you were here to hold me to the ground.”

“Let my voice be your tether,” Hannibal said. “Do you have something at hand to clean yourself up?”

“I brought the tissue box to bed this time,” Will said. “Reaching felt like a lot of work before.”

“That’s good, wipe yourself clean. Let me know when you’re done.”

Will grabbed a few tissues from the box and wiped at himself. He felt energy leaving his body with every movement.

“I’m done,” he said, exhaustion pulling at him.

“Well done,” Hannibal said. “I know it’s warm, you can take the comforter off, but I want you to get under at least the top sheet.”

“To keep me from floating away?” Will asked.

“Yes,” Hannibal said. “To make sure that you feel the security of my voice as a physical presence there with you. Get under the covers, Will.”

Will used the last reserves of his energy to strip the comforter from the bed and crawl under the top sheet, curling on his side towards where the phone lay on his pillow.

“I’m under the covers,” he said, voice drifting. “Talk to me?”

“If I were there,” Hannibal said, “I would bring you a glass of water, hold your head while you sipped it. I would stroke your hair, gentle you. Keep you grounded to me and the moment with touch, until you fell asleep in my arms.”

Hannibal paused then, and smiled when the only sound on the line was Will’s steady breathing, fast asleep.

**************************************

Will and Hannibal didn’t discuss his sleep habits in their session that week, but as Will stood to leave Hannibal walked over to one of his cabinets and removed a small black leather overnight bag. The handles were held together by a wide white ribbon tied into a neat bow. Hannibal handed it to Will, expression carefully neutral.
“For you. Open it at home.”

Will examined the bag curiously. It wasn’t heavy, but it clearly wasn’t empty. “Thank you.”

Hannibal’s lips twitched towards a smile. “Have a good evening, Will.”

The bag sat on Will’s passenger seat like another presence in the car the whole way home. He was reasonably certain that “Open it at home” wasn’t an order so much as “don’t open it here,” but he still resisted the urge to pull over into a gas station and open it. He got home, let the dogs out, and then settled at his kitchen table.

He carefully untied the ribbon and unzipped the bag. A note rested inside, handwritten in Hannibal’s immaculate script.

“Will – please accept this as an expression of my care for you. Use only what serves you. No more hotel lotion.”

Will set the note aside, opened the bag fully, and laughed. He couldn’t have said what hit him, exactly, but he laughed until tears welled in his eyes and he had to swipe them away, his heart twisting a little. There was a blanket, neatly rolled and held that way by thin Velcro straps. When Will picked it up, he realized it was weighted. Soft cotton, barely more than a sheet, but he could imagine the comfort of the weight as he lay in bed. Tears stinging his eyes for an entirely different reason, he set it to the side. In an interior mesh zip pouch, Hannibal had place three bottles of lube – various brands, all unscented. There was a pack of wet wipes, two wash clothes, and a water bottle with a built-in straw.

It was practical, thoughtful, very Hannibal. Will thought about calling him then, to say thank you, but held off. A night would come soon enough when he would need to hear Hannibal’s voice, and he found himself looking forward to it with a warm tendril of anticipation curled in his chest. He carefully repacked the bag, brushed his thumb over the black leather, smooth as butter, and smiled.