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The Pines

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In the morning, he drowsily peers outside to see heavy rainfall. Considering how cold it was at night, he half expected snow today, but he’s happy for the excuse of the weather to feel no obligation to productivity.

Hannibal peeks through one open eye at the rain outside and hums drowsily to himself. Not aware that Will woke a few moments ago, he whispers at a volume appropriate for the gray morning, “Will?”

Will turns over onto his side with a breathy sigh. “It’s Sam.”

They both chuckle a little more heartily than their tired bodies are used to.

Hannibal rests his hand over the hand Will had let fall between them on the bed.

Will feels his heart enter his throat. Suddenly very aware of the Scandinavian morning air, he pulls the blankets over both of their shoulders and clasps Hannibal’s hand again underneath. It makes sense. It makes such obvious sense to be here, touching with no medicinal need.

It’s profane and pathetically boring how much they both need to touch like this, warm and in no rush. They doze again.

 

 

The men wake again after drifting back to sleep. Neither man wants to shake off the inelegant drowsiness before they weakly and clumsily push their arms to pull the other closer – Will’s hand on Hannibal’s hip and Hannibal’s hand on Will’s neck, around his ear, then the back of his head, now rustling through his curls.

Hannibal’s breath quickens and he gathers enough energy to fully blink open his eyes, which finally drink in their situation, careful to remain a participant rather than his typical, distant perch as an observer of life.

Will flutters his eyes closed again, trying to regulate his breathing through his nose. He can’t help but wonder again if he’s dead or feverishly dreaming in a psychiatric prison somewhere, but he finds himself nodding softly and seriously to the other man.

Still clumsy and compensating for their bruised and broken bodies, they shift closer into an embrace, then to exhale into a room temperature open-mouthed kiss that crushes their entire faces together more than it provides any nice sensation to their lips. But it’s better this way. Not hungry or desperate or even particularly sensual. Just their having to be tangled. Both with the invading desires to stitch their matched souls, to inhabit the same body if they ever find a way.

Hannibal rolls them so Will is flat against the bed, but he breaks the increasingly eager kiss to yelp in pain from the movement. “Gah!”

Will freezes in place, not sure what hurt him.

Hannibal flies his hand down to press against his stomach and does little to breathe through another groan at the pain. He rests his head back on his pillow and laughs through his slowing breath, “maybe not that quite yet.”

Will returns the small laugh, relieved to see the other man in good spirits. “What can I do?”

“I twisted against the abdominal tearing. The exit wound is where the majority of the damage is.” He tugs up his shirt to find, unsurprisingly, some yellowish spotting through his gauze. “I’m not sure we should have survived.”

Will feels a sting at the remark.

Hannibal notes the small dimming in his eyes and clarifies, “it will be a beautiful life here, Will. But you and I know we always live against the odds. Doomed to ‘despite’s.”

“I can be happy in the ‘despite’s.” Will clambors over to the bathroom through his own pain to gather the medical supply kit – it’s become a routine he could manage in the complete dark – and from this point on, the men silently resolve to tend to each other even in the places they can reach themselves.

“There is an unpredictability in internal wounds. Filling everyday life with little chaoses.” Hannibal breathes heavy and quick through the feeling of torn tissue.

“Pain worship,” Will chides.

“Not pain worship,” the other man corrects while he stiffly reaches for his unmarked pill bottle. “You are not the only one who misses the glitches in the calm.”

While he tests Hannibal’s response to poking fingers, Will looks up in a smile to catch his gaze.

“Not that I was calm.” After a particularly painful press into his gut, he yelps out, “are you trying to make certain that I was shot in the stomach? I could have told you that. In fact,” he winces in a spasm, “I believe you were there.”

“Okay, sorry. Sorry.” Will moves back to re-bandaging the wound, much more gently now, holding a hand over Hannibal’s chest to calm his breath. “I’m almost done. Almost done.” He winces along with him, remembering his own gash into his organs. Will suppresses a shameful giddiness looking down at the man again.