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Heart-Shaped Box

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"She'll make you cry.

I'll sell my soul to be back in her bosom

Gladly, now please suck me dry.

And still you'll cry to be back in her bosom

To do it again."

- Rev 22:20, Puscifer

 

Will woke up in increments.

 

He grumbled at the retreating warmth, turning over to curl into it. He drifted along, before he gently climbed out of the well of sleep. Will flopped on to his back amongst Hannibal's rich, plush pillows and sheets, kicking off the comforting to stretch out the long, lithe line of his body. He felt full and decadent, a flush down to his chest and eyes bright. Everything ached deliciously, the memory of Hannibal's hands upon him vivid and perfect.

 

There was a sharp intake of breath by the door, and Will leisurely turned his head to look at Hannibal silhouetted by the light pouring into the hallway, carrying breakfast. He let his leg stretch out teasingly, and asked, "For me?"

 

"You are never going hungry in this house," Hannibal promised, and he walked into the dim light of the bedroom. Will could make out his features, now – the red pajama pants slung low on his hips, the thick hair on his chest, his bare shoulders covered in scratch marks. Will felt fuller than he had in his whole life, but he still stirred in excitement.

 

"Good morning, my darling," Hannibal said, sliding into bed with a tray piled high with breakfast. He kissed Will's shoulder and pulled him against his chest. "My thanks, for the wonder of last night."

 

"I should be thanking you," Will giggled, before taking in the food presented to him – a traditional sort of breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon, toast with bright red jam and hash brown potatoes, served with orange juice and coffee. Will happily dug in, eyes fluttering shut in pleasure.

 

"Delicious, as always," Will assured. Hannibal smiled into the crook of his neck.

 

"They you shall join me at one of my banquets," Hannibal declared. "My guest of honor."

 

"Everyone will talk, Doctor Lecter," Will teased. Hannibal scoffed.

 

"Let them, I will know it's simply their jealously speaking," Hannibal said. "They could not imagine the pleasures and wonders of you, sweet one. I will bring you everywhere, from the Baltimore opera to the ends of the world."

 

Will's lips parted in surprise, and he was amazed he could whisper out, "If I didn't know any better, I'd say I've enthralled you."

 

"You have," Hannibal declared. "Just not with some strange magic."

 

Hannibal kissed him then, softly on his lips. Will's heart felt like it was going to burst.

 

Breakfast was placed down on to the floor, and Hannibal pressed Will into the bed, and did not let him up until late afternoon lunch.

 

-

 

Will spent the weekend at Hannibal's, only leaving the bed to be fed lavish meals. Winston – no matter how much he loved Alana – was overjoyed to see him, and Will may have laughed and talked about him getting a new daddy in the heat of the moment. He felt giddy to the point of delirium, full of love and Hannibal's impassioned words.

 

Of course, reality came crashing back on Monday with a call from Jack.

 

The victim was in some derelict apartment complex, the curtains twitching to reveal curious eyes and dark rooms. The eyes grew in number when Will came to the scene, as brilliant as the sun on the cold, washed-out day.

 

Jack paid his seemingly overnight change in health no mind, but Beverly gave him a look.

 

"You look like you spent a weekend in the Bahamas," she told him, "Or in a certain well-dressed gentleman's house."

 

Will gave her a little smile. "I can neither confirm nor deny."

 

Beverly gave a fake gasp and lightly punched Will on the arm. "Details later, Graham. And I will get them."

 

Will's good mood faded when he went into the apartment. It looked like a hurricane had gone through it. Furniture had been smashed and scattered, every plate from the kitchen broken into a thousand tiny shards, and everything on the walls ripped down. There were scratch marks in the plaster, and the white was stained a deep crimson in long streaks. Carefully, Will made his way through the apartment, and noted that cedar boroughs had be tossed around without any semblance of care.

 

"He does not take rejection well," Will said. "He feels like his higher authority has betrayed him somehow, in the most personal of ways."

 

Will found the bodies, then. Another family, completely savaged and torn to shreds.

 

"With his teeth," Price helpfully added. Will shuddered.

 

There were nonsense symbols scrawled into the walls, the deer skulls broken on the floor. A supplicant no longer, Will thought, betrayed by his god.

 

"He's going to escalate," Will said. "He's going to either be killing for revenge or pure pleasure now."

 

"The full moon is coming," came a familiar, smoky voice. It felt like warm fingers being stroked down Will's spine, and he turned to look at Hannibal, as put together as always. "Will he kill again on Friday? Even though he no longer wants to speak with his god?"

 

"Yes," Will said. "This was an act of rage over his betrayal. He'll want to properly sever the connection on Friday."

 

Hannibal gave Will a dark, hungry look, unnoticed by the bustle of everyone around them. Will returned it, swirling with promise.

 

They left the forensic investigators in peace, Hannibal his shadow as they walked out back under the gray sky. The lights casted red and blue in a circular pattern, throwing Hannibal's cheekbones in sharp relief. Will resisted the urge to reach out and touch them.

 

"Come to the opera with me," he murmured. "Please."

 

"What will people say?" Will asked, his smile giving away his answer.

 

"How lovely my companion for the evening is," Hannibal said, "With envy in their eyes."

 

-

 

Will knew nothing about opera, and even less about Baltimore high society. But he put on a tuxedo, and put on his best smile when he put in arm in Hannibal's.

 

"You look...ravishing," Hannibal said on the steps of the opera house. The grey malaise had lifted, and the stars were tiny pinpricks on the dark blue sky. Will smiled.

 

"Hopefully," he murmured, voice full of promise. Hannibal smiled, and they ascended into the opera house.

 

Socialization was an interesting experience for Will, so attuned as he was to the room and its contents. He kept himself turned mostly towards Hannibal and his feelings – pride, happiness, the subtle undercurrent of lust – like an anchor to keep himself from drifting away, but he did catch snippets. Surprise, that the enigmatic sideshow oddity of Hannibal brought someone, lust, for Will inspired it whether he was dressed in silk or drenched in blood, and that sharp taste of envy, because they were both so strange and beautiful.

 

Will put on his prettiest smile for all of Hannibal's friends, who fortunately didn't seem to expect him to talk much. Soon the awkward part was over, and Hannibal was leading them to their seat.

 

Will's lack of knowledge of opera probably hindered his enjoyment of the piece, but he could recognize talent when he saw it and – he glanced over at Hannibal, with a hint of moisture in his eyes – he'd probably know all there is to know about opera soon enough. He let his hand rest on Hannibal's, and Hannibal gripped it, tight and sure and calloused. Big hands, strong hands, hands that anchored and could keep them both moored.

 

"Did you enjoy it, Will?" Hannibal asked, afterwards, when they were going to his car.

 

"Very much," Will assured. "Though now I have to take you fly fishing."

 

Hannibal laughed, and kissed Will's hand. "Perhaps a nightcap first?"

 

-

 

Will woke up in the dark, alone.

 

He was curled under Hannibal's heavy feather-down comforter, every light off in the still and silent house. He was naked and alone, Hannibal's side of the bed rapidly cooling.

 

Sleepy and confused, Will got out of bed on shaky legs. He flicked on the lamp, casting soft and warm light, and grabbed Hannibal's shirt from where it was draped over the chest at the end of the bed. He buttoned it up as he entered the hallway.

 

"Hannibal?" Will called. "Hannibal?"

 

He made his way down the grand staircase into the lavishly furnished foyer, past the dining room and into the resplendent kitchen. The silver light of the full moon trickled through the tall glass windows. Will stopped in the center of it, trying to figure out where Hannibal had wandered off to. Late night emergency with a patient? But Hannibal would've no doubt left a note...

 

"Cheater."

 

Will froze, and turned slowly to see Francis standing in the doorway. There was a knife in his hand, and everything clicked in his head.

 

"You're the supplicant," Will said, and then his mind clicked again. "And Hannibal..."

 

"My devotion wasn't good enough for either of you," Francis spat, eyes wide and crazed. "Was I not man enough for you, hm? Only spreading your legs when it's most convenient for you..."

 

He advanced forward, knife glinting in the moonlight. Will took a step back, lower back bumping into the marble counter.

 

"You're sick, Francis," Will pleaded. "You're not thinking straight. Put the knife down and I can help you."

 

"I'm not sick," Francis proclaimed. "I have risen. I'm going to kill my god and become him. Maybe then I'll be good enough for you."

 

He raised the knife, and Will cowered against the counter. Images of families torn apart by steel and teeth flashed in his eyes, imagination overrunning with his own savaging. He cried out, calling for Hannibal, for anyone...

 

"Enough of that."

 

A glint of silver, and then Francis's throat was slit open. Red poured out, spattered on to Will, and Francis collapsed to the marble. Hannibal stood behind him, bloody knife in his hand and a rather annoyed look on his face. Will stared up at him.

 

"Alright, darling?" he asked, casual as you please. Like he wasn't holding the knife that slit a man's throat. A man who was killing people in his honor.

 

"Christ, Hannibal," Will breathed. Hannibal smiled.

 

"We are not on speaking terms," Hannibal said, and tilted his head. "You know the consequences. If anyone should learn of this."

 

Will did – the sham trial, the guilty verdict, the months and months languishing in a specialty prison, before the exorcism. It would be a sideshow, the great bright light of Hannibal Lecter extinguished forever, along with all the giddy happiness he had brought.

 

There was no self-defense plea for demons. One infraction and they held you until you could be sent back.

 

Hannibal stood in the moonlight, covered in blood with a silver knife in his strong hand. His shoulders were broad and powerful. Black smoke rose from his skin, forming antlers. He looked down at Will with a wistful fondness.

 

"You are the only one who can understand," Hannibal said. "My sweet William."

 

He held out his hand.

 

-

 

"I had sex with him one time. It was a one night stand and I never planned on it becoming an actual relationship. I never went back to the club, because I met Hannibal shortly thereafter."

 

The disappearance of Francis Dolarhyde had become something of a spectacle, a respectable young man who vanished without a trace. Upon the inspection of his apartment, they found it covered in frantic scribbling and pictures of one William Graham.

 

Will sat at the kitchen counter, the detective assigned to the missing person report carefully recording his statement. Hannibal had brewed them both coffee and had presented beautiful raspberry scones with a flourish. Winston watched, as alert as always, from his dog bed in the corner.

 

"You never saw him again?" the detective asked. "Or thought you've seen him?"

Will shook his head. "I personally think he killed himself after I got into a relationship. Couldn't handle it."

 

The detective nodded. "I'm expected someone's going to find him hanging in the woods or something. But I got to cover all my bases. Thank you for the hospitality, Doctor Lecter, Mister Graham."

 

The detective left after patting Winston on the head. Will watched her pull away from the curb at the living room window, wrapped up in Hannibal's dressing gown and drinking fine coffee in a hardy ceramic mug. Strong arms wrapped around his middle.

 

"Beautiful," Hannibal crooned, pressing a kiss to Will's temple. "Everything is going to be perfect."

 

Will placed his hand over Hannibal's, big and calloused. He kept his eyes trained out, on to the fancy houses of Hannibal's street, little castles with walls made of hedgerows. There were roses in Hannibal's front garden, and in the depth of winter they were blooming – perfectly symmetrical and blood red.

 

"Of course it is," Will said. "We've got no problems."