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the sky's the limit

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Every story I tell is the same story.

The story is this: it’s raining outside, and inside, in the safety of Hannibal’s bedroom, Will’s writhing underneath Hannibal in the dark. His eyes are squeezed shut, mouth open, nails dragging down Hannibal’s back, and somebody’s moaning.            

Will’s still a double agent, still reporting back to Jack every Friday at 9. This is dangerous, Will knows. This could get him killed. But Hannibal needs him like it’s the frigid cold of winter and Will’s a steaming cup of coffee in Hannibal’s hands, like if he grasps Will hard enough, he’ll draw some of Will’s warmth to melt the polar vortex inside him.

The story is this: Hannibal’s holding a knife, and with one quick movement he plunges it deep inside Will, then draws Will close, brings a hand down gently across his cheek. Will gasps, the way he used to in bed, looking as debauched as he did then, sweat sticking his hair to his forehead. He’s shaking the way he’d shake with exertion from riding Hannibal’s cock, the way he’d shake right before he came.

“I gave you a rare gift,” Hannibal always says in these stories, “but you didn’t want it.”

His eyes are like fire. He’s bloody, hair mussed. He’s a hurricane, a rattlesnake. He’s the Devil.

Rewind. The story is this: anymore, Hannibal feels like home to Will. He tastes like home, like spice, like chai, like the latest masterpiece he’s been cooking; he smells like home, like musky cologne and musty, old books.

Will admits he’d been thinking with his dick when this first started -– either that or he hadn’t been thinking at all. They’d tumbled into bed together, easy as anything, despite that the rest of their relationship was anything but easy. But even then, there’d been something that drew him to Hannibal, reeled him in like a fish on a line.

It’s the way Hannibal feels like sunlight shining through big, open windows on a lazy summer afternoon. It’s the way Hannibal’s hand on his shoulder makes his whole body light up, makes him draw in a breath with anticipation, makes him come alive. It’s the way Hannibal’s warm body spooning around his, like a predator squeezing its prey, makes all the muscles in his body relax better than a full-body massage.

The thing is, this is a love story. This is a love story, but Hannibal thinks it’s a crime drama and he’s the victim. Hannibal doesn’t know that not one second of Will’s time with him wasn’t real -- not the things they did in the dark, not the plans they made, not the words stuck in both their throats like deaths-head hawkmoths.

“You were supposed to leave,” Will says, voice shattered the way his soul feels.

Let’s fast forward, past Will clenching his jaw and going through the motions of having a family, of trying to forget the past. Let’s move past Hannibal’s distaste at being imprisoned, at that tiny sliver of hope he carried with him like a locket, close to his heart -- the hope that Will still cared for him. That Will had ever cared for him at all in the first place.

Will, he’s covered in someone else’s blood, he’s high on the heady, primal adrenaline rush of taking a life. He meets Hannibal’s gaze, and he’s reluctant to look away, he’s reading so many things in Hannibal’s eyes; and he yearns to read his body, too, like braille. At the same moment, Will and Hannibal, they realize that they both are free from their bonds now, that they can do anything they want. The sky’s the limit.

“It’s beautiful,” Will says.

They move together, they move as one, until they’re embracing, holding onto each other for dear life. You expect Will to lay his head on Hannibal’s chest with a look in his eyes like he has everything he’s ever wished for. This is the way the story goes, after all.

Instead, one of them leans in. Maybe it’s Hannibal. Maybe it’s Will. Hannibal’s heart beats faster and Will’s euphoria deepens, and in his gaze, Hannibal sees himself the way Will sees him, all sunshine and carefree summer days. Their lips meet, much gentler than the way they used to meet before (all wild clashes of tongues and teeth), and it means everything.

It’s not their first kiss, and it won’t be their last, but it’s the right way for this story to end.

This is a love story.

The story is this: finally, finally, Hannibal is at peace. He has everything he’s been wanting, these past few years.

And Will? So does he.