The fire crackled warmly in the grate as Hannibal crossed the worn wooden floors almost silently, only the quiet scuff of his leather shoes against the antique rug marking his progression.
He carried two crystal tumblers, the light from the fire glinting warmly in their many facets, fracturing the darkness with small bursts of brightness.
Setting one down gently on the end table with a soft click, he brushed the back of his knuckles against the rough wool of his companions blazer - so briefly, it could plausibly be an accident.
He left the man where he sat, and stepped delicately around the long legs extended towards the warmth of the hearth, ankles crossed with shoes set neatly to one side.
It’s only a few more steps to the wingback chair where he settled himself comfortably. He closed his eyes and drank in the silence of the room, inhaling deeply as he let the cacophony of smells that saturated the room wash over him. The sweet tang of the leather seats, the almost sharp smell of the tweed jacket he had draped over the back of his chair, and the silky smokiness of the cherrywood burning in the grate.
And under all of this, he could smell the slight musk of the man before him. He drank it in, trying to capture it within his memory.
“Hannibal, stop smelling me.” The man said, carefully turning the page of the book in his lap without ever raising his eyes from it.
“My dear Will, it would seem I have no choice. I find myself unable to do little else these days. It has been some time since I’ve had the opportunity to experience you in person.” Hannibal replied, opening his eyes but otherwise remaining perfectly still in his chair.
Will made a non-committal noise in response, but tilted his head fractionally to indicate vague agreement.
“And how do I smell today?”
Hannibal thought about it for a moment before he replied; “as when we first met. Pine sap and fever, faint notes of dog.”
Will gave another small hum of acknowledgement, the slide of his next page turning punctuating the sound.
“I don’t know how I feel about you including the encephalitis, when you think of me.” He said eventually, eyes never once straying from his reading material.
“I don’t, always. But it was how I first knew you, and tonight I am feeling nostalgic.”
“I’ll say. We’ve been sitting in your study for hours. We’ve undergone two guard changes, and you missed lunch, but you’ve hardly spoken to me.” At this observation, Will finally flicked his eyes upwards towards Hannibal’s face, but still didn’t quite meet his gaze.
Hannibal nodded sharply, it was true. Even if he wasn’t consciously aware of time passing while he roamed the halls of his memory palace, a part of him was always watching the clock.
“Do you think tonight will be the night I call you? Or perhaps you’re waiting for me to realize family life is suffocating me slowly, before running here just to see you one last time.”
Hannibal paused; he knew it wasn’t going to happen. However, he was unsure whether to admit to the small modicum of hope that had kept him going. It was the small spark in the darkness of his isolation.
Even here, safe in the bone arena of his own skull, he was not sure if speaking of it would threaten its existence.
“You know I’m not coming, Hannibal.” Will said, his tone as soft and placating as the warm air that surrounded them, “It’s been over two years since you even heard my voice.”
With that, he stood, laying the book down on the side table spine up, and crossed the small space to join Hannibal on his side of the hearth.
“All you have is memories of conversations, replayed so often if they were on vinyl, it would have warped beyond recognition. Repetitions of meals already shared… and the memory of my scent.” The last sentence was muttered in a low voice, Will bent at the waist to whisper it directly into Hannibal's ear. He rested one hand on each arm of Hannibal’s chair, pinning him in place.
“What time is it, Hannibal? Out there in the hospital?” Will continued, “Have the nurses finished their rounds? Has Alana been to visit on her way home yet? Did you even acknowledge their presence? Or did you stay here with me, lost in the cocktail of woodsmoke and bad aftershave?”
The low rumble of Will’s voice thrummed through Hannibal, each word echoing through his whole body, setting his nerves alight.
His cock stirred in his pants, yet he dared not move to adjust it for fear of making it more obvious. Hannibal swallowed, his throat making a soft click, before replying, “I believe it is past lights out for the rest of the hospital. Alana has already attempted to flaunt her new position of power at me again, but I was in no mood to entertain her, so I stayed here. I am sure she thought me rude, but I cannot find it in myself to care.”
Will murmured in unsurprised agreement, lifting one hand from the armrest and setting it on Hannibals’ tensed thigh.
“You abhor rudeness in everyone else, yet you indulge in and exaggerate mine, when we’re alone together here. You created this version of me, bold and unapologetic; made to indulge your need for intellectual stimulation.”
With each word, Will tracked his hand higher up Hannibal's leg, until his knuckles brushed the hardness barely concealed by his zipper. Hannibal let out a small moan and gripped the arms of the chair harder, his own knuckles turning white. His head fell back against the chair with a soft thunk, his lips parting.
Will leaned in even closer, so that their lips were almost touching, before he pressed his palm firmly against Hannibal's aching cock, finally giving him the relief he was seeking. A smirk spread across his face as Hannibal bucked his hips forward to meet the pressure.
“And how must you look to the guards now, Hannibal. Laying in your bed alone, dreaming of the man who put you here, getting off to the smell of his aftershave. Are you touching yourself right now, out there? Do they know this is what you’ve been reduced to?”
Hannibals breath came faster, his version of Will knew exactly what to say to wound him, but he couldn’t get enough of it. His tongue danced over his teeth in hesitation, before he leaned forward and captured the lips of the man before him. Will met him with equal fervor, the kiss sloppy and desperate before they found a rhythm. Lips and tongues joined and parted in perfect synchronization, both breathing heavily into the space between them.
Eventually, Hannibal pulled back to gulp some air into his burning lungs, chest heaving. His cock was still trapped and throbbing against Will’s hand.
“You beautiful, cunning boy. You unravel me completely, and I find myself unable to stop it. While we are together here, I can indulge myself, but I refuse to give them the pleasure of witnessing my undoing. It is dark in the hospital, and I refuse to give Alana the satisfaction of seeing me touch myself.”
“Hmm. So to all the world you are lost in sleep, but alone here with me you are flayed open. Viscera exposed and glistening. What would you have me do, Hannibal? I am your creation after all,” Will mused.
“I would have you do as you would, Will. It was never my intention to dictate your actions, only to witness your becoming.” Hannibal's breathing was rapid, his speech broken and raw. His hips worked with Wills’ rhythmic ministrations, alternating between trailing his slender fingers along Hannibals’ length and grinding his palm into his hardness.
When Will removed his hand, Hannibal keened and his hips lifted off of the chair to chase the sensation. Will chuckled as he reached for Hannibals’ zipper, and slowly, agonisingly, pulled it down to reveal his straining erection. It was already leaking and leaving a damp patch in his boxers.
Without warning, Will dropped to his knees and settled himself between the other man's thighs. He pulled Hannibal's cock free of its confines, humming appreciatively as he took it in hand. Hannibal himself was panting, his chest heaving and every muscle so tense he felt as though he were vibrating.
Will ran his hand slowly from base to tip, chasing nimble fingers with his tongue. Licking a broad stripe along the underside, he swirled the tip of his tongue around the head and dipped into the leaking slit. Hannibal bit his tongue until he could taste blood, but still a deep moan slipped free from his throat.
His fingers flexed and relaxed against the chair, reaching to touch before Will’s eyes snapped up to meet his in warning. Nodding quickly in understanding, he replaced his arms at his side but maintained eye contact as Will continued his teasing strokes. Hannibal was painfully hard and leaking now, with each press of Will’s tongue he felt his cock jerk and a new bead of moisture spill over his dark pink head, where it got lost in the soft folds of his foreskin, before being slicked along his length by Will’s gentle ministrations.
Hannibal tried to keep his breathing even, but with every stroke of Will’s hand, he could hear his own growing desperation. Without preamble, Will lowered his head and took Hannibal into his mouth. As the hot, wet confines of his throat suddenly enclosed his cock, Hannibal was certain his heart would stop. He let out a keening whine, cut short when Will hollowed his cheeks and pulled back from base to tip. As he broke the seal with an obscene popping sound, Hannibals’ hips snapped forward, chasing the dark warmth of Will’s mouth.
At this, Will placed his hands on the other mans’ hips, broad fingers splayed to keep him in place.
He repeated the movement until Hannibal thought he may go mad, each breath a grunt of pleasure and impatience. When Hannibal seemed to be dangerously teetering, Will pulled off and lifted his face to meet Hannibals’ gaze directly. His lips were plumped and bruised, eyes shining, and a single string of spittle stretched between his mouth and Hannibals’ tip.
At the sight of this, Hannibal lifted his hands and finally drove his fingers through the tangle of curls on Wills’ head. In the same breath he brought their heads together and kissed him, with every ounce of desire within him. Their lips crashed together, tongues tangling, teeth scraping at lips, breathless moans escaping both of them.
Hannibal was the first to break the kiss when he grunted as Will took his cock in hand once again.
“Are you close Hannibal? Will you come for me?” Will asked in a low voice.
“For you, dear Will, I would burn the world.” Hannibal croaked, tears forming in the corners of his eyes. It only took a few more strokes before he was falling apart, coming with a deep moan.
The aftershocks wracked his body as Wills’ movement slowed, stopping as Hannibal began to wince from over stimulation. They sat there, foreheads pressed together for what felt like an eternity, sharing breath and time but no words.
Slowly, Will extracted his head from Hannibal's hands, kissing each wrist as he did so. He rocked back onto his haunches before straightening. Walking the few steps to the side table his book rested on, he opened the drawer, pulling out a box of tissues and passing them to Hannibal. As the older man cleaned himself up and tucked his softening cock back into his pants, Will picked up the book he had been reading and walked it back over to the book shelves. Placing it in its allotted space, he kept his back turned to Hannibal for a moment longer.
“That’s going to be hard to hide from the cameras. Let’s hope Alana decides not to review tonight’s footage.”
Hannibal stood gracefully from the chair and started to step towards where Will stood. As he did, the younger man turned around and lifted his palm in a halting gesture.
“Let’s...leave it there for tonight. I’d better go. Goodnight, Hannibal.” With a slight nod of his head, he picked up his jacket and walked towards the door. Stepping through it, his form was slowly swallowed by the darkness. Beyond it lay nothing but the faintest sound of what could have been music, or screams.
** ** **
Hannibal opened his eyes with a shuddering breath, the warmth of his mind palace fading to be replaced by the cool stale air of his cell.
The ceiling above him was dark and spackled, with only the dim safety lights to highlight the textured surface.
He remained perfectly still for a few moments, refusing to let go of his fantasy until the last possible minute. He tried to recall the sensation of Wills’ touch; to memorize the warmth and softness of his mouth.
Altogether too soon, the stiffness in his muscles and the cold wet patch on his stomach became impossible to ignore. With a sigh, he swung his legs over the side of his cot and sat upright, keeping his head bowed as his breathing returned to normal.
Silently, he stripped out of his jumpsuit and placed it in the basket to be taken with tomorrow’s laundry, leaving him in a faded grey undershirt and overworn briefs. Walking slowly over to his basin, he ran the faucet and splashed his face with cold water before patting it dry with the hospital’s poor idea of a towel. Returning to his bed, he pulled the blankets up to his chest and settled once more.
It had been 2 and a half years since he last saw Will, but he still held out hope that he would see him again soon.