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Tastes Like Fire

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The golden sunlight of afternoon spilled past the curtains, and slanted across Will's messy bed sheets. Beyond the window of their Amsterdam apartment, canals stretched on for miles, and the scent of tulips hovered ever-present in the air.

A vacation for someone else. A hideout for them.

Will hadn't appreciated this place until now.

Amber liquid swirled at the bottom of the glass for what seemed like the hundredth time, guided by the tilt of his determined hand.

A poor man's painkiller. Will thought, ruefully.

He tossed the shot back, wincing as it burned at the ragged wound in his cheek. His brain sloshed like a sponge full of water, too doused with alcohol to function at a higher level than the mechanical motions of his hand pouring a glass, and his lips wrapping around the rim.

A bird chirped outside the window, cheerful and carefree.

Will poured two fingers of whiskey with a wane smile.

He wasn't sure if he felt closer to that bird, or a nose-diving plane getting ready to crash and burn.

A hand on his shoulder brought him back to this present moment of fuzzy perception, and fluid thoughts.


Hannibal's voice echoed as if in a long corridor down the center of Will's mind.

Will hadn't noticed him enter, hadn't even realized Hannibal was home. He was always gone to the canals or the tulip fields with his pencil and paper in hand.

Will cast Hannibal a dull stare, taking in Hannibal's casual attire and disheveled hair. Before leaving Baltimore, Will would have never seen him in such a state of disarray. To the blunt inhibitions of his alcohol soaked brain, Hannibal appeared flushed, soft, approachable. Tame, if not desirable.

“Will, you shouldn't drink while you're on painkillers.” Hannibal said.

“What do you know about what I should and should not do?”

Hannibal sat down on the bed next to Will, and pressed a hand over Will's forehead. Will drew in a shallow breath as Hannibal's palms covered his forehead and cheeks, patting with gentle concern.

“You're warm.” Hannibal murmured.

Will gazed into Hannibal's eyes, down to the pulsing dilation of his pupils, and the soft mocha strain of brown his eyes held in the mellow light of afternoon sun. Stubble on his jaw glinted silver and sharp, like a knife's edge.

“I run hot.” Will breathed out, lips swollen and humming with the buzz of alcohol.

Hannibal released Will's face, and reached past him to take the half empty bottle of whiskey. He screwed the cap on tightly.

In the professional tone of a chiding doctor, he said, “No more whiskey for you.”

“It kills the pain better than the medicine.”

“It can have terrible side affects when combined with the medication.”

Will's focus dragged to the plush shape of Hannibal's lips.

Or a poor man's way of finally letting go.

Hannibal rose from the edge of the bed to leave, but Will's fingers wrapped around his wrist. Will tugged him back down onto the bed. His other hand clutched Hannibal's knee, pulling Hannibal around to face him.

“Will ...” Hannibal whispered, his brow furrowing, eyelashes fluttering rapid in confusion.

Will lifted a trembling hand to touch his chin. The pads of his fingers shifted across the sharp grain of Hannibal's five o'clock shadow, the sensation reaching beyond the dull haze of alcohol.


Hannibal's hand snared his wrist. For a brief moment, he gripped Will's hand away from his face, resisting the dawning light of need in Will's glassy eyes.

“Will, you're drunk.”

“I'm not that drunk.”

Will lurched forward, pulled by a force stronger than his shriveling fears. He plunged into free-fall, boundless, limitless.

Their lips clashed, sloppy, hot with desire. Will clutched onto Hannibal's shirt, fingers dull and trembling with the abrupt, yawning need that opened in his belly. Hannibal uttered a low sound of surprise; if Will had been sober, he might have feared Hannibal would pull away.

For what felt like an eternity, Hannibal sat frozen against him, Will's feverish kiss unrequited and messy.

Hannibal's first response was a hand over the pounding drum of Will's heartbeat. Shifting closer, he hooked his other hand behind Will's neck. His fingers delved into the curls at Will's nape, and dragged Will's head back into submission.

Will moaned as Hannibal rose to his knees over him, mouth bearing down on Will's with decisive and devastating force of need.

It tasted like fire. But maybe that was just the whiskey.

Will pawed at Hannibal's shirt, shoving his drunken hands underneath the fabric to span Hannibal's ribs. His hands slid across flesh and the ridges of expanding bones. Moaning into Hannibal's mouth, he reeled with pleasure and the wonderful, soft texture of Hannibal's skin.

Hannibal broke the kiss, hands clutching Will's face with crushing force.

His eyes were flaming, licking into Will's eager gaze and trembling flesh.

He threw Will down against the sheets, tearing Will's hands out from underneath his shirt. Pinning Will's wrists to the bed, he leaned over him with one knee planted between Will's thighs.

“You're drunk, and you're on some very strong painkillers.” Hannibal said, “You don't know what you're doing.”

“These must be the side affects you were talking about.”

Will bit his lower lip, and rocked his hips down against Hannibal's thigh. He realized that he was fully hard. Looking up, he realized Hannibal was too.

Hannibal shifted down against him, bringing their chests flush. Stroking Will's cheek, he gazed longingly over Will's pleading lips. His cock thrummed against Will's hip with undeniable desire.

Will lifted his head from the pillow, shoving his mouth against Hannibal's again.

Hannibal clutched his jaw, pinning his head back against the pillow. His mouth pressed into Will's, hunger and heat radiating past his lips, teeth pinching at Will's lower lip.

“I won't fuck you.” Hannibal whispered, “But I will kiss you.”

Touch-starved and aching, Will accepted Hannibal's kiss without argument.

For now, the fiery taste of his lips was enough.