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The screaming toddler in the next aisle is giving Will a headache that, paired with the ever present twinge in the right side of his cheek, could rival the memory he has of those he had when his brain swelled inside his skull.

The Fort Pierce Marina has a small shop, mostly general replacement parts boaters may need, but also scuba gear and a shockingly neon array of t-shirts that say “THE SUNRISE CITY” in a font Will would never think someone would approve to use. It’s this shop he finds himself in, midday on a Wednesday, with a baseball cap lowered over his head and a watchful eye scouting for security cameras.

Hannibal isn’t with him. He tries not to let this make him anxious but finds that his skin feels tight, his fingers twitchy without the man who has become a constant presence, never more than fifteen feet away.

He tells himself it’s fine. There’s a tiki bar, gauche as it is, just a few yards from the door of the shop. Hannibal had clapped him on the shoulder as they exited their boat, asked him if he wanted to get a drink. He researches the ports they stop in before they get there on his tablet because of course he does. Because of course Hannibal Lecter has to be the most knowledgeable person in the room. Will suspects he tells himself it’s about being prepared, but had Hannibal been as prepared as he believes himself to be, Will wouldn’t be standing here looking at price tags when they should be in international waters by now.

The problem is: the water on the boat fucking sucks.

The morning after they don’t die Will is the only one walking well enough to find glasses for water. As soon as he turns the tap, he sniffs wincingly. The water is brackish and smells like sulfur. They drink it anyway. It’s either that or alcohol; Hannibal warns him that not only would wasting a glass of Michter’s be a sin, mixing it with the morphine and salt water likely still in their bellies would end in vomiting, loss of consciousness, or a potential overdose.

Will can do without the Good Doctor routine so they drink the water. It’s revolting and he has to pour it from above his head with his good arm in order not to widen his mouth and pull at the stitches in his face.

He hates that Hannibal isn’t the type to own a plastic bendy straw. He hates that Hannibal isn’t a lot of things. ‘Dead’ is surprisingly not one of them. For that he is quietly thankful.

The next two weeks go by in a strange sort of limbo. The only thing to mark the days are Hannibal’s updates, which Will halfheartedly ignores, and the rise and fall of the sun as Will sails them further south several miles from the coast.

They make their way down the eastern seaboard, stopping once when Will finally feels like he can walk more than twenty steps without collapsing. He gets two dozen jugs of spring water at three separate ocean front tackle shops in Jacksonville (the less time he spends in one establishment the better) and brings them back to their temporary home one at a time. It takes him the entirety of the day but they have water for drinking and cleaning their wounds.

The look of thankfulness and pride Hannibal gives him as he pours out one of the jugs for washing dishes helps soothe the ache in his shoulder.

Less than a week later the stiches in his face come out. Days after that, the ones in his shoulder.

Will doesn’t think he’ll forget the look of reverence on Hannibal’s face as he pulled out the black threads with gloved hands steady and sure around a pair of suture removal scissors any sooner than he’ll forget the first time he saw that same look on the cliffside before their dive. Which they haven’t talked about. No sorry for trying to kill us. No I understand, it was your design that we consummate our marriage of murder with a union more profound, more permanent, than what is considered traditional.

They don’t have to talk about it because they both know what the other is thinking.

It’s never more evident than when Will finds himself waking seconds before Hannibal in the middle of the night, the boat rocking them gently in the single, surprisingly comfortable berth they share. They sleep face to face for no reason other than keeping themselves off of their wounds, but even as they begin to heal in earnest Will finds himself unwilling to turn onto his back as he typically sleeps. He expects Hannibal to look softer in sleep, his striking features more relaxed at the edges. Instead he looks just as powerful as he does in wakefulness, like at any moment he’ll ask Will “why are you staring?” Will doesn’t know what he would say to that but thankfully Hannibal never asks when his eyes do crack open and they take a few moments just to see each other. Here, in their capsule on the sea.

After a little over two weeks he has to be realistic about how they smell.

The baths on the boat consist of prioritizing the cleaning of wounds and a methodical rinsing of armpits and groins. Hannibal has to help Will with his left armpit at first, his right arm more or less useless as his repeatedly abused shoulder heals. Logically Will knows this isn’t the first time Hannibal has brought a soapy rag to his skin. It is however the first time he’s been conscious for it. It leaves him with baited breath, something that feels far too close to jealousy building under his ribs.

Hannibal is so careful with him now. He wants to ask, “were you this careful with me before?” He remembers Hannibal jerking his blazer over his shoulders in Italy. Pressing a palm to the back of his neck. Yes, he thinks, he was gentle in his own way.

It’s after one too many of these tense baths that Will tells Hannibal he thinks he can fix their water filtration system.

“It won’t be the first time I’ve had to do some diagnostic work with plumbing,” Will says. Hannibal pulls his gaze away from a worn copy of ‘Don Quixote’ (in the original Spanish, Will notices— of course) to watch Will as he eyes the water flowing from the tap in their little kitchen. Our kitchen, Will muses. He has to stop a smile from forming. “We could have bacteria building in the line but my guess is sediment in the main pump. It would explain the sulfur smell. Bacteria probably would’ve made us sick pretty quick, too.”

Hannibal hums in agreement. This is something Will knows more about. The thought makes him smirk.

He figures, Hannibal pulled them out of the sea and made sure Will’s airway was clear (don’t think about his hands on your chin tilting your head, don’t think about his mouth pushing air from his lungs into yours, you weren’t even fully conscious, tell yourself you imagined it and you don’t wonder what his mouth would feel like if his desperation hadn’t been so tinged with fear) so he can fix anything that happens to their floating home, hence their stop here in the so-called Sunrise City.

Grabbing a carbon filter off the shelf, Will makes his way past the screaming toddler to the register. He already has additional hosing, anti-bacterical tablets, and everything he needs to flush the pump and as he puts everything onto the counter he is cautious not to look up where there’s a camera behind the register.

It only takes two hours to fix the pump (the basin is full of slippery sediment, he makes a mental note to tell Hannibal they won’t need the anti-bacterical tablets because he was right) and just as he’s turning on the tap to see clear, odorless water flow out the faucet Hannibal descends into the cabin. He’s still moving stiffly but there’s color in his cheeks again and Will knows they’re out of the woods in terms of either of them catching an infection from their injuries.

He still isn’t used to Hannibal dressing so casually, navy slacks that, while undoubtedly tailored, aren’t pressed, and simple linen button up shirts with short sleeves. He’s even less used to the dusting of facial hair that covers Hannibal’s jaw. It has two patches on his chin that are silver stripes. He looks unbearably handsome.

Will suddenly realizes he’s beaming. He signals Hannibal by holding up the wrench he’d used to tighten the bolts holding down the closure of the water pump.

“It was the sediment,” he tells Hannibal, who comes over to watch the water coming steadily out of the tap. “It was loaded with gunk. Took me a couple hours but I think we’re good to shower whenever we want.”

Will feels more accomplished than he has in ages—something about using his hands fulfills him in a way catching murderers (and becoming one) never has. His mood feels like a spectacular relief, the worry of Jack Crawford and the American judicial system a distant and silent concern.

Hannibal turns to him, a soft smile on his face not unlike one a proud father would give his son. The thought unsettles Will for a fraction of a moment before he rationalizes it. If he isn’t Hannibal’s creation, just as a son would be, what is he? The difference being that while Hannibal is his maker, he has been just as molded by Will himself.

Before he can stop himself, Will is leaning forward, closing the very little distance between their bodies with his empty hand coming up to hold Hannibal’s bicep. It’s his sore arm but it doesn’t deter him. He can see the way Hannibal’s eyes widen a fraction before the image blurs as he closes the remainder of the gap and is kissing him, really kissing him, no press of lips for the necessity of living but for pleasure and pleasure alone.

It’s different than any kiss Will has ever had. He can feel the scratch of Hannibal’s new beard and smell the surprisingly fruity drink Hannibal had at the tiki bar. The absurdity of Dr. Hannibal Lecter drinking something with a paper umbrella stuck in it has Will laughing against his mouth before he can hold it in.

Hannibal backs away an inch, his mouth is slack with the whisper of a grin. “Have I done something warranting laughter?” he asks.

Will’s hand tightens against the bare skin of Hannibal’s arm. He’s warm from the sun, solid and muscled and alive.

Will is so fucking glad he’s alive.

“You taste like a coconut,” Will tells him, laughing again. Then he’s kissing him again and it’s more this time, it’s so good he’s dropping the wrench, other arm coming up to grasp Hannibal’s forearm. Hannibal cups Will’s elbows and his hands are so gentle, his mouth so soft that Will can almost pretend it could’ve always been like this. Sweet and tender and not at all covered in blood and tears. Somehow it’s okay that it’s this way instead, that this is the payoff for the years spent wanting Hannibal’s heartbeat stuttering to a halt under his hands.

Will parts his lips, takes Hannibal’s bottom lip between them and oh, that’s better, that’s enough for him to let go of Hannibal’s arm to turn off the faucet, for him to steer Hannibal’s body until his lower back is pressed against the small bit of counter space. He feels shockingly confident, outside of his body in a way that instead of dissociation feels like the first time he’s known with perfect clarity what his body is capable of. He feels that quiet sense of power from years ago and tightens his hands to near bruising where they grip the skin of Hannibal’s arms.

A quiet moan from Hannibal emboldens him and he’s licking into his mouth, the length of their bodies flush now. He’s surprised at how compact and flat Hannibal’s chest feels against his and pushes into it to feel it more. Will feels the groan rising from his throat before he’s even aware he wanted to groan and Hannibal kisses him harder, the strange pout of his upper lip traveling from between both of Will’s to his cupid’s bow as Hannibal sucks his upper lip between his own.

The hands move from his elbows to his waist and Will has to shudder out a breath against Hannibal’s open mouth. No one’s touched him like this before. He knows if Hannibal had his full strength he could lift him, just like this, hands at the most narrow part of his waist. He could pick Will up, toss him over a shoulder, carry him to the berth with an arm around the backs of his thighs. Will groans against Hannibal’s mouth, thinking of what could happen once he got him there. He imagines the way they would have to share the smallness of the space, the colors of their skin as they touch. Their skin tones are more similar now that Hannibal is pale from having spent years behind the walls of the BSHCI and Will goes a little lightheaded at the prospect of not knowing where his skin stops and Hannibal’s begins.

But there’s a problem with that idea, Will realizes. It’s been over two weeks without a proper shower and while kissing (and apparently groping because one of his hands has moved from Hannibal’s arms and is sliding across the side of his ribs and god he feels incredible) isn’t an issue because of the ability to still brush their teeth, for what Will wants (the baring of skin, the baring of bones, the taste of Hannibal’s scars in the back of his throat) they should probably be clean.

Pulling away from Hannibal feels impossible but he uses the one hand on his arm to push himself away. Hannibal’s eyes remain closed for a few moments, his breath coming quickly like he’s scenting the air between them. Knowing Hannibal, he is.

“We should probably take a shower,” Will tells him and, just because he can’t seem to stop himself, leans forward again to press an open-mouthed kiss underneath Hannibal’s jaw. The hairs on his neck tickle his lips. When he backs away to take in Hannibal’s face the older man says nothing but Will can see the question there anyway-- are you sure?

Leave it to Hannibal to need enthusiastic consent for sexual acts but not any of the other tortures he’s inflicted upon Will. He shakes his head to rid the thought.

“Yeah,” Will tells him, nodding a little more furiously than he intends. “I want to. I think maybe I need to.”

Hannibal says nothing in response, but the way he kisses Will says more than the English language could. He’s backing him up, hands at the hem of his t-shirt, lifting gently though his mouth is anything but. Will feels the sharp crookedness of Hannibal’s teeth against his lip and Hannibal groans, as if Will had bitten him.

They part long enough to get Will’s shirt over his head. He goes to kiss Hannibal again, his hands coming up to undo the buttons of his shirt, and is stopped by Hannibal’s face lowering towards his shoulder. He presses his cheek to the mostly healed stab wound there with reverence, nuzzling into it like a cat.

“God,” Will breathes. He feels the wetness of Hannibal’s lips trailing there and it’s almost enough to make him rip the two sides of Hannibal’s shirt apart.

Hannibal presses a kiss to the forming scar tissue and rises back up, gazing at Will as he finishes unbuttoning his shirt. Will feels pinned down by the look of hunger Hannibal gives him, pushing the shirt off his shoulders once he has it open.

They’ve seen each other naked several times now. Will knows that logically he has been this close to Hannibal’s bare flesh. They had to dress wounds and the first night on the boat Hannibal had actually fallen asleep completely nude, sedated to the point of no return, a large bandage winding around his middle the only sign something was wrong with him. Even knowing this it feels like the first time Will has even seen him with his shirt off. He brings both hands to Hannibal’s chest and stares at the silvering hair there, sinking his fingers into it. It’s the welcoming kind of strangeness one gets when trying any new activity that will someday become a favorite pastime. He recognizes the feeling instantly. It’s not dissimilar to training a new stray he hasn’t gotten to know, working on a motor he hasn’t diagnosed. He rubs at the thick hair, laces his fingers in it, makes two loose fists, and tugs.

Will,” Hannibal sighs. Blue eyes, pupils shot, snap to Hannibal’s face. He already looks wrung out and they’ve yet to make it to the shower.

“Yeah, okay,” Will starts and turns, taking long strides to get to the small bathroom. As he’s sliding open the plexiglass shower door he feels Hannibal envelop him. For a moment, he startles. His hindbrain still recognizes Hannibal as a danger and he’d be a fool to let that change, regardless of how good it feels when Hannibal’s hands pet down his shoulders and arms to calm him.

Will relaxes and leans forward to turn the knobs of the shower. Clean, clear, odorless water first sputters, then streams out of the shower head. It’s even pretty decent water pressure.

He sticks a forearm in to check the temperature as Hannibal begins pressing kisses to the back of his neck, worrying the skin there between his teeth. His hands come around and undo the button and zipper on Will’s jeans. It’s so distracting Will nearly falls face first into the step-in shower and has to reach above himself with his good arm to press a palm against the low ceiling in order to steady himself.

Hannibal strips him of his jeans and boxers in one go, mouth still sucking at the area where his spine meets his skull. Will kicks his clothing to the side, mashing them between the opened shower door and the toilet. He steps into the spray of the water and bites back a moan at how good the warmth feels beating down on his sore shoulder.

When he turns Hannibal is crowding in with him. It’s not a shower built for two by any means but for as close as he wants to be, it will work. They’ll make it work.

“C’mere,” Will tells him, sliding an arm around Hannibal’s middle. It feels borderline ridiculous, a way he’s treated girlfriends past, but Hannibal melts into the touch and sighs into the hollow of his neck. They’re both more than a little half hard but Will finds himself in no rush. The water feels almost as good as Hannibal does and he wants to bask in it.

After a few moments Hannibal has other plans. It starts as an innocent enough kiss on the sharp jut of Will’s jawline but within moments he has his teeth in the meat of the column of Will’s throat. It’s rougher than anything Will is used to and it feels like something he never knew he needed. It’s a surprise that makes his dick jerk where it’s pressed into the space between Hannibal’s own and his hip bone. Hannibal soothes the bite with his tongue, laving at Will’s skin, catching water in his mouth and letting it fall back out onto Will’s collarbone and down his chest. Will gets a hand in the back of Hannibal’s hair, still short from his time getting state appointed hairdressers to cut it in the BSHCI, and tugs. It makes Hannibal moan and Will presses his lips to Hannibal’s mouth and swallows the noise down. He wants the noises Hannibal’s making, soft groans and grunts, to live inside his chest, to bounce off his ribs and knock against his organs. It feels like Hannibal has his hand around his heart and Will wants him to squeeze.

He’s fully hard now, rocking his hips against Hannibal in a way that he isn’t fully cognizant of, and he breaks their kiss to look down between them. It isn’t as shocking as he thought it would be to see a dick next to his. If anything it makes his hips jump, his fingers tightening where they’re still locked in Hannibal’s hair at the back of his head. Hannibal’s big. Will isn’t anything to scoff at himself but there’s a thickness to Hannibal’s cock that has Will swallowing out of nervousness. He knows the human body is adaptable, he knows about preparation. He’s had anal sex with a woman before, but the prospect of Hannibal inside him has him worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. Then again, he reckons he has no reason to believe that Hannibal wouldn’t want things to be the other way around.

There are so many possibilities kicking around in Will’s head and Hannibal, ever melded together with him, seems to sense it. He pushes Will’s wet bangs away from his forehead, thumb skirting around the scar there. Stray drops of water cling to his pale eyelashes and Will has a striking thought: he’s the most beautiful, most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen.

He doesn’t think it’s the first time he’s thought it.

As if reading his mind Hannibal presses their lips together in a kiss that would be chaste if they weren’t pressed together from knee to neck, naked and dripping. He sighs into the corner of Will’s mouth and whispers “You are magnificent. You exceed my every expectation and yet I am confounded to see that you are exactly as I imagined you would be.”

Will doesn’t know what to do with the praise. Instead he snakes a hand that’s more steady than he can believe between their bodies and takes Hannibal in his slick hand. He watches Hannibal draw in his stomach and immediately wince. It must pull at his gunshot wound.

“Easy,” Will chastises. He lets his hand loosen but not let go. He’s instantly enamored with the way Hannibal’s foreskin pulls back to reveal the tip of his cock. It’s part curiosity, he himself being circumcised and having never been this close to an uncut dick. He’s gorgeous all over, a flush pink that’s almost red, the base of him jutting from a patch of hair the same color as that of his chest hair. Hannibal sucks in a breath as Will twists his wrist experimentally. “Easy now,” Will repeats. He doesn’t see if Hannibal winces this time, he can’t look away from what he’s doing with his hand even as water from the shower drips over his face into his eyes.

Hannibal brings his hands up and cups Will’s face, tilting it up and halfway into the spray before kissing him deeply. His tongue still tastes faintly of coconut and some other vaguely tropical flavor. Will laughs into the kiss, struck by how good all of this feels. If he lets himself be honest about having imagined this before he had pictured bruises and bites and rutting like animals, all teeth and sharp claws. Maybe a tinge of fear and a blade pressed to an exposed throat. Instead this feels like sinking into a warm bath after a long day.

Before he can think too much about it, he’s lifting his chin to the ceiling, letting Hannibal trail kisses over his cheeks and down back to his throat. His empathy disorder rarely works on Hannibal and truth be told he’s thankful for it but he can feel just how much Hannibal wants his mouth against his pulse. He doesn’t think on what it means (the wound in Francis Dolarhyde’s throat flashes in his mind-- he’s felt those same teeth in that same place now and it makes him ache) because it feels exquisite and he doesn’t want Hannibal to stop.

Hannibal’s hands find Will’s hips and it takes a few seconds for Will to understand what Hannibal wants him to do. “Turn around,” Hannibal tells him and he does, head directly under the jet of the shower. For a moment he’s skittish and unsure but then Hannibal isn’t as close to him anymore and he hears the click of a bottle opening. He feels a tap on his shoulder and pulls his head out from under the water, wipes a hand across his eyes.

In Hannibal’s hand is a bottle of shampoo.

“May I?” he asks. It makes something in Will’s chest that isn’t his heart lurch.

He nods.

Hannibal works the lather into Will’s hair with a tenderness reserved for restoring classical paintings. He feels every much as precious as a work of art and it’s almost too much. The oversensitive touch of a warm fire on frostbitten skin. He doesn’t ask Hannibal to stop. He thinks maybe they both need this. They are fully aware what they can do to each other, now they need to relearn what they can be for each other.

When he’s done Hannibal tips Will’s head back into the spray and rinses him clean. Will expects to be turned back around but Hannibal’s kissing the back of his neck again. His lips move across Will’s shoulders, up the side of his neck. Hannibal’s sharp teeth nip his earlobe quickly before he licks up the shell and a sound Will doesn’t ever think he’s made before comes out of his mouth. He brings a hand up and smacks it against the shower wall, unconsciously pressing back into Hannibal.

Hannibal brings his right around Will’s hips and takes him in his hand. It hadn’t occurred to Will that regardless of all the ways Hannibal has been making him feel better than anyone ever has, he hasn’t actually touched his cock yet. His grip is firm and he is as sure in his touches as he is in everything else he does.

Fuck, Hannibal,” Will moans. He pushes his hips back against Hannibal, wanting to feel him along his back. In front of him is a simple tiled wall and he looks down to where Hannibal is touching him. His hands are as large as the rest of him and Will can feel his toes curling against the slick shower floor.

Behind him Hannibal is still laying kisses against his spine. He’s started rocking his hips against Will, his cock sliding slowly along his ass, the tip of it leaving smears of precum along the small of his back that the shower water instantly washes away. It’s good, it’s so good, especially with Hannibal’s hand stroking him like he’s done it a thousand times before, but it’s not enough and he wants more.

Without really knowing what he’s doing Will reaches behind himself and takes Hannibal’s cock in his hand. He has to lean to the side a little awkwardly but he’s able to move Hannibal under him until his hardness is between Will’s thighs, nestled against the underside of his balls between his ass cheeks. He tightens his legs ever so lightly.

The reaction is instantaneous.

Hannibal’s hand tightens nearly painfully where it’s grasping around the base of Will’s dick and he moans loudly, his mouth open against Will’s wet hair.

The quiet of Will’s power rushes to a roar as Hannibal’s hand resumes stroking him and he starts to thrust his own cock between Will’s legs. “Shit,” Will hisses. He presses back farther, arching into it, almost stunned at his brazen behavior, but more overcome with the single sharp burst of pleasure every time Hannibal drags his cock back and forth.

The hand Hannibal isn’t holding him with slides around his waist and before Will can stop him he’s sliding his fingers along the long, raised scar on Will’s stomach. For a split second the floor drops out beneath him and Will feels as if Hannibal’s opening him up again, but then Hannibal makes a sound against the skin in the space where his hairline ends and his bare skin begins that is so like a wounded animal that Will wonders if he’s hearing things again and it snaps him back up onto solid ground where Hannibal is real, is right here with him. “Will,” he moans, and it sounds pulled out of him, a hole in his stomach to match Will’s and his guts all over the floor. “Will,” he whines again, and digs his fingers into the scar. His hips are jolting Will forward over and over, his hand no longer tugging at Will’s cock so much as it’s just creating a tunnel for him to fuck Will into. He presses the flat of his palm against Will’s stomach right over the scar, pulls him back against him. “Will, Will, Will,” he chants, matching the name to the movement of his hips, and the blood is roaring in Will’s ears. He’s so close he can taste it.

Hannibal refastens his teeth into the skin at the back of his neck and this time it’s the bite Will had expected in the fantasies he definitely never had. He brings the hand that isn’t white knuckled against the shower wall and grasps at the back of Hannibal’s neck, digging his fingernails into the same spot as Hannibal’s teeth.

The moan pressed against his shoulder is the loudest from Hannibal that he has heard before. It echoes off the tile and down the halls of their shared memory palace. Will knows when they wander there together they’ll be able to hear it still.

Hannibal’s hand resumes stroking him, quick now, almost too quick, just on the edge of overwhelming. Will’s panting like a dog, his eyes screwed shut against the rapidly cooling water from the shower. It doesn’t matter, he can’t feel it, he can’t feel anything but this, he never has, there’s never been a single moment of pain in his entire life because he has this, because they both do, and Hannibal’s moving his mouth off of his shoulder and saying in his ear “with me, Will, with me, with me,” and without asking for clarification Will knows what he’s asking for, answers him back with “yeah, yeah, I will, I’m going to, Hannibal, fuck,” and even though Hannibal isn’t inside him, even though he doesn’t know if that’s something either of them even want, Hannibal is inside him, he’s in Will’s marrow and his arteries and he has made a home for himself in the spaces between his joints and then they’re coming, together, blurring and spinning and it’s so good, it’s so fucking good Will has to pull his hand back down from behind Hannibal’s neck to hold himself with both against the shower wall.

It takes a moment to come back to reality.

When he does Hannibal is still pressed against his back, humming contentedly. His hand is cupping Will’s softening dick almost protectively. Will huffs a laugh at the ridiculousness of it.

They rinse in silence, shuffling around each other in order to get any traces of cum and two weeks worth of dried sweat off of them. There will be time for separate, thorough showers later but for now they share a towel, Will scrubbing at his hair and grinning like an idiot.

Hannibal is smiling in that soft way he does where his face barely moves but Will knows what it means all the same. Hannibal’s happy. They both are.

They slide under the sheets of the bed they share still nude and damp, lying on their sides facing each other as they do every night. It doesn’t feel very different than it usually does and Will is slightly grateful for it.

Hannibal is eyeing his shoulder, where Will can feel that there’s definitely a bruise in the shape of his bite forming there. For a moment he isn’t sure how he feels about another mark of Hannibal’s against his skin but then he remembers- it excites him to know that you are marked in this particular way.

He realizes that this way, without blood, without scars, excites him too and he smiles faintly.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Hannibal asks. He looks tight around his eyes. Will imagines he strained his side and back in the shower but he’ll never let on. Regardless he will make sure Hannibal takes an extra muscle relaxer tonight.

“Just thinking about what an awesome job I did on the water pump,” Will jokes. He’s grinning like a fool, he can tell. All those post-sex hormones coursing through his bloodstream. Or maybe this is just how he makes you feel now, a little voice that sounds not unlike his own nags in the back of his head.

Hannibal chuckles. “That you did, dear boy.”

If Will’s heart flutters a little bit at that he doesn’t let it show.

“With that settled,” he says, “We can really get out on the water now. Go anywhere we want.”

Hannibal thinks on that a minute. Will has often thought Hannibal has no real plan in all this, that his endgame was getting Will and getting out alive. It’s as good a plan as any.

“Where do you envision us going?”

Will gives a half shrug with his sore shoulder. It’s getting better every day, like other things.

“Anywhere with a bigger shower,” he answers.

Will gives him a broad smile that Hannibal reflects back to him. Scooting closer until their knees touch, they rock gently in their home on the water until sleep takes them, swift like a stream.