Many years ago, there grew a forest that humans never dared to enter, for the trees grew thick and tall, and blocked out any hint of sunlight. The only creatures that lived in the forest were the strong beasts and the nymphs.
The nymphs who resided in the forest were strong and lived for millennia, carving out homes in the trees, only coming out to seduce any traveler who might find himself so unfortunate as to pass. Along with the beautiful nymphs, the gods of humankind would come into the forest as sacred ground, and pursue their own desires. They had children with the nymphs, creating even stranger creatures, causing the forest to grow deeper and darker.
One day, as the crisp air of fall surrounded the trees, a god wandered through the trunks looking for his sister, the goddess of the hunt. She had amassed a group of woodland nymphs to tend her dogs and weapons, and they usually welcomed her brother without fleeing in fear. The god had hair spun with gold, and eyes the color of dried blood, but when he smiled the cruel plains of his face smoothed to reveal a strange softness that mirrored his sister.
He came upon the nymphs in a meadow, romping with the hunting dogs in the piles of leaves, singing and dancing with the joy of changing seasons. They froze when they saw him, surprise causing a few to shift into floral bushes before they realized there was no need to fear. The more confident ones leapt to his side in greeting.
“Hannibal!” One called, her brown eyes wide, her smile somehow wider. She curled around him and breathed sweet smells of spring into his senses. “Your sister said you would be coming,” She added.
The god, Hannibal, smiled back and set down the lyre that he had been cradling.
“Mischa, where is she?” He asked as her large hunting dogs licked at his heels.
“She went on the hunt for a stag,” The brown-eyed nymph informed him. “She took only a hound and her bow.”
“I will reside here until her return,” Hannibal said before sitting down on one of the large stumps, the nymphs chattering around him. As he lounged in the attentions of the handmaidens, a new figure appeared from the thicket with a dog close behind. Hannibal turned to look, half expecting his sister, but instead it was another nymph, dressed in nothing but black silk around their decidedly unfeminine waist. The god was taken back, and stood in surprise as the figure entered the light to reveal a young man with a beautiful face framed by long, dark curls. His cupid bow lips twisted in equal uncertainty as he laid eyes on the god opposite the meadow, but he did not pause in his careful gait. The other nymphs started chattering, distaste and displeasure painting the air around this new creature. Hannibal’s nostrils flared, taking in the unmistakable scent of leaves and flowers that all wood nymphs had, but that was not possible. All nymphs were female, and their male counterparts were the lustful satyrs. However, this newcomer was not a brash satyr, but a soft, long legged, blue eyed beauty. Hannibal was struck, and turned to the others with a questioning glance.
They frowned as the male sat down in the grass and started to meticulously brush the dirt off the hound at his side.
“Ah, it’s θα,” One female said and looked away with a haughty turn of her nose. “He was born from an uncouth mating between one of our own and a incubus several years ago. He is a monster, and we know not what to call him”
“He...he smells of your kind. How can that be?” Hannibal asked, still staring. The nymph did not reply, and instead danced across the meadow to where the youth sat.
“Θα, why do you come into sacred ground with your filth? The goddess may have blessed your presence, but she is not here to cleanse the stench of your skin. Her brother has been offended.”
The male frowned and stood at his full height, patting the dog absentmindedly on his way up. He looked over at Hannibal, then back at the nymph before him.
When he spoke, his voice was soft and powerful in the way night crept over the horizon, not overpowering, but ominous all the same.
“The goddess gave me sanctuary, along with her blessing, for my intentions are pure. I only wish to tend the hounds.” He looked off into the distance, eyes clouded. “And I sense her return now, the blood of the hunt on her hands. Are you going to challenge her judgement to her front, or will you continue to slink behind her back to do it?”
Indeed, as he spoke, the huntress Mischa came, covered in blood and fur, carrying the carcass of a black stag over her bare shoulders. She smiled sweetly at her brother before setting the animal in the arms of several handmaidens and gliding over to where the two nymphs stood. Her smile was jagged, sharp teeth glinting almost cruelly.
“Now, σκοτάδι , you can not treat my Will so harshly. His heart is open, and he has the strength to protect you and your kin. I find your disobedience unpleasant,” She said. σκοτάδ ι shrunk back in submission and turned to join the rest of her sisters skinning and gutting the stag. Hannibal stepped forward next to his sister and stared unabashedly at his sister’s newest addition.
“Hello Hannibal. I see you have become acquainted with Will,” Mischa purred, her eyes mischievous. Hannibal frowned at her, and turned to bestow a dazzling smile on the nymph before him.
“I believe I have not yet been given the opportunity. It’s a pleasure, Will. Let me assure you, your smell is anything but offensive to me.” He reached out and took one of Will’s slender hands and brought to his lips. Will bowed his head respectfully, but otherwise remained expressionless.
“Thank you, my lord.”
They broke apart, Hannibal forcing away his stare, to join the handmaidens as they started to roast the stag over the fire. It was a large beast that required a strong fire and stronger hands to turn the creature in its spit. Will walked to his brethren's assistance, the black silk swishing from where it clung obscenely to his slim hips.
Mischa turned to her brother in amusement, her own dark eyes flickering in the afterglow of the hunt, her long gold hair filled with leaves and flowers.
“It was a glorious hunt, my brother. I wish you would join me, for nothing compares to the pleasure of tracking one's prey.”
Hannibal picked up his lyre from where it rested on a stump, and strummed a chord.
“My dear sister, who is to say I do not hunt? I simply track prey of a different… caliber . “
Will looked up from his spot by the fire, his eyes glinting in the light to meet Hannibal’s, and from thus forward he would never get the image out of his mind; this strange creature who smelled of the forest and the dark rage of flames, this man who could rend flesh from bone with a glance. Hannibal had fallen hard, and when he hit the bottom, his death would not be a kind one.
He played songs of gods and war, songs of love and death, and sweet melodies with underlying darkness, watching Will as he watched in kind, his attention unwavering. When Hannibal started to sing, his voice trembled at the thought of making Will sing the sweet melodies of lovers and killers.
The next time Hannibal saw Will face-to-face, fall had already come and gone, leaving a bitter winter in its wake. Mischa had created a large shelter in her meadow, made of twining branches and briars to ward off any satyr that may find himself inclined to appear. She gathered her handmaidens inside and cooked the meat of the old animals of the forest, wrapped in the furs and feathers of her previous hunts. Hannibal visited once again when the storms were the worst, his golden hair seeming to glow against the pale snow. The nymphs were all draped in fur and sik, their hair long and weaved with dead flowers, the hunting hound’s fur mixing in. Hannibal entered the shelter, the warmth of summer still flowing in his veins. He sat and watched as the nymphs cooked the evening meal, skinning rabbits and geese, draining the blood for the dogs.
Will was in the far corner, covered in blood, elbow-deep in a dead doe. He looked up when Hannibal approached, his eyes dark and wary. The handmaidens around him chittered in confusion as the sun god sat right across from the carcass and reached in to pull out the liver. He picked up the organ delicately and sliced it down the center with a finger, popping a piece in his mouth. Will lifted his hands out of the chest cavity with the heart, large and dripping, and offered it to the god opposite him.
“Hello,” Will murmured as Hannibal took the heart and cupped it in his hands. The god brought it to his face and smelled appreciatively, but did not take a bite, instead choosing to smile at the male across from him.
“You don't usually come here in the winter. Why do you visit now?” Will asked, carving meat away from the ribs and handing it to one of the maidens beside him. He brushed a stray curl out of his eyes and left a streak of dark blood from his cheek to his forehead.
Hannibal smiled and reached out to smear the blood further, humming approvingly at the way it clashed with the pale of his skin and the violent blue of his eyes.
“I came to see you,” He said.
Will paused, taken back. “I- Oh, that’s… Why ?”
“You ask a lot of questions.”
“Excuse me, I am an inquisitive person.” He didn't sound apologetic, and his mouth curled around a smirk.
Hannibal licked his lips and looked around, avoiding the question playfully. He saw his sister in the far end of the shelter, surrounded by furs and nymphs. She was glaring at his actions, for she never approved of people flirting with her handmaidens. Hannibal smiled back, because Will was no maiden. Quite the opposite actually, and the god found it alluring in a way no lurid female could ever achieve.
“I am also an inquisitive creature, and I see the potential in your eyes.”
Will finished gutting the deer and stood, the gore starting to dry on his skin. “Potential...I am afraid you might be disappointed, for I am anything but. Now, if you excuse me, I must bathe.” Will turned, the furs around his shoulders swishing as he went out into the storm. Hannibal watched the sway of his hips for as long as he could before gently setting the heart down into the fire and turning to his sister.
“Hannibal,” She snapped back. “I do not like what you are doing to my nymph.”
“Ah, and what is it that I am doing?”
“ Corrupting him .”
Hannibal laughed, and for a moment his golden aura slipped into black, dark antlers growing from his hair.
“ Not yet .”
Will liked bathing in the hotsprings, especially in winter. The pools were clear and bubbly, and the rocks surrounding them were warm and multicolored, like a rainbow. He had found the pools by accident several years ago while he was running from a satyr, and had fallen right in. They were perfect for hiding from other nymphs and monsters, and relaxing. In the winter he never wanted to leave.
He carefully took off his furs and silk and laid them over a shrub, still green from the heat, and carefully slipped in the deepest pool. He leaned on the edge and watched in vague fascination as the water washed away the doe’s blood, leaving his skin pink and the water rusty. Will was borderline sleep when the hairs on the back of his neck stood up, a shiver wracking forcefully down his spine, screaming danger danger danger. He rose from the water, painfully exposed, to face whatever was behind him.
To his horror and embarrassment, it was only Hannibal, covered in snow and dead leaves.
He sank back down into his pool and glared up at the god. Said man carefully brushed the snow from his hair and sat down gently on the rocks to stare right back.
Will, as he glared, had to admit the god was beautiful. He had a strange face compared to other godly beings, not timeless but sharp and old, lips thin where others would be full, cheekbones prominent instead of soft and round, eyes dark and lined, unlike the way humans would draw them on a shrine. He looked like Mischa, his twin, yet carried something along with him that wasn't so sweet. Will found he hated everything about it.
“You are surprisingly unpleasant, for a god,” Will snarled, hoping to provoke some type of emotion on Hannibal’s blank stare.
Hannibal opened his mouth and closed it quickly, a twitch moving his brow.
“Oh? And what am I doing that you find unpleasant?”
“Breathing, for one, but also following me around shamelessly.. I smelt you every where after meeting you, in the trees, in the wind, curling in the water, clinging to my skin like blood. You have been stalking me for months now. “ Will shook slightly after he finished, clinging to the rocks in preparation for vaulting out.
Hannibal didn't move for a heartbeat, before a horrid grin split apart his face, bearing sharp canines.
“If anyone else had ever spoken to me like that Will, I would have cut out their tongues and strangled them with their own intestines; I abhor rudeness. And yes, I have watched you from afar, alight in curiousity. You are of a different ilk then anyone I have ever met before. “ The god took off his robe and slid into the pool with Will, crowding him like a rabbit in a corner.
“You should know, my dear Will, that I was born without shame- ” Hannibal towered over Will in almost leering manner-”However, you do not have the right to speak such things. I will reprimand you now, and only now, for next time I will not be so lenient. “
Oh , Will trembled, like the rabbit finally caught for slaughter, his eyes losing all defiance and sinking down low to stare at Hannibal’s hips in submission. He had never felt so cowed. He had never tasted such potential violence from another being in his life.
“I apologize. I spoke out of turn,” He murmured.
“You are still covered in blood. Turn around,” Hannibal said soothingly, and rubbed the nape of Will’s neck when he obliged.
Will held painfully still as Hannibal’s hands wandered over his back, carefully removing blood and dirt, caressing the sharp planes of his shoulder blades. The god’s touch was strange, harsh but soft, hands unmarked and smooth, pressing hard enough to warn but not to mark. It felt like being flayed alive.
“Why do your sisters hate you so?” Hannibal spoke into the silence, voice calm and conversational.
Will stared off into the distance. “You must know, my mother laid with the incubus. They resent things that disrupt the very laws of nature.”
“I have never seen an incubus in this forest. Where did she meet him?”
“She told me, before she was killed, that she met the monster in her dreams like most incubi do. He was seducing her in her mind, then he came from caves and bedded her on the moss. She spoke of him as if he were the most beautiful living thing she had ever met.”
“Incubi feed off sexual desires, but do not mate for family purposes. I wonder why one would want to sire a child?”
“I do not know. My mother’s tree was burnt before I was old enough to want to ask,” Will said, and leaned subconsciously into Hannibal’s touch as he caressed Will’s hip bone.
“And what about you, Will? Do you hunger in the same way as the incubus?” Hannibal’s hands squeezed and withdrew to splash hot water.
Will hesitated, thoughtful. He had never felt hunger in the way the incubus was described with, but he had felt something. An animal resting in his chest, curling up his throat when he was angry, whispering of destruction he could wrought. But Will’s own conscious easily quelled the animal, and he replied without a hitch in his voice.
“I do not. ”
The hotsprings become a safe meeting space for Hannibal to see Will without scrutiny from others, and he found himself staying even longer periods of time. He would slip away from his duties and sit on the edge of the deepest pool, and every time Will would materialize from the trees, or drop down from a higher ledge, hair a disaster, sometimes with a dog in tow. Will, after recovering from his initial anger, had opened up a bit more and could talk for hours about the animals he tended in the forest.
“Winston is the ideal hunter, you know. He used to bring me the heads of rabbits and wouldn't let anyone eat them until I at least feigned a bite. It’s endearing.” Will kicked his feet and splashed Winston, who was sitting directly across from him. The dog whimpered and shook, tongue lolling to the side as he dashed around the edge to lay his head in Will’s lap. Hannibal watched from his position, leaning comfortably against the stone. The god couldn't help the smile that twitched his lips, and he could tell it pleased Will when he did so.
“Almost like a cat, bringing gifts to it’s master, assuming he cannot hunt for himself. “
Will sighed at the hound in his lap. “But you know I can hunt, πολυαγαπημένος , you silly creature.”
“Mischa was talking about you today, on another note. She said some interesting things,” Will added.
“She said you wore a mask of lies in order to seduce me into breaking my vows of chastity,” Will snorted and threw a rock for Winston, clearly unconvinced by Mischa's words.
Hannibal slicked back his hair from his eyes and looked up at the setting sun that would be requiring his attention soon. “Ah, Mischa always gets defensive of her handmaidens. I never could grasp her obsession with virginal women.”
“But are you? Seducing me, I mean.”
“Αγάπη, I might be. You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, compared to all of the otherworldly gods and goddesses. But most of all, I value your happiness. If you are content living here, with Mischa, I will not intervene.” Hannibal sat up from the wall and crouched down next to Will, and took his hand to his mouth to kiss him deeply right in the center of his open palm. Will shook slightly as Hannibal’s tongue flitted out to tease the now red flesh before pulling away. The nymph looked anywhere but his companion, his cheeks red.
“I am the farthest from interested in such offers, Hannibal. I take my vows seriously.”
“Whatever you say, my sweet.”
“She spoke of deception. I cannot understand of what kind, however. She says-”’’
“Mischa says a lot of things, Will. Do you choose to believe everything?” Hannibal interrupted.
“She told me to ask you to remove your illusions. To truly see you.”
Hannibal looked down at his hands, normal human flesh pulled taut across bone, and felt something old and dangerous stir as Will stared him down with his piercing eyes. It was tempting, to trust his true from to Will’s gaze to trust that he wouldn't be scorned for his true nature. The god had oh so carefully built this persona, to spite his foes, but why shouldn't he shed it? He had nothing to loose anymore. He closed his eyes and sighed.
“To the humans, I am the undying youth, the beautiful warrior and healer, slayer of Pythos, patron god of music. You know of how my sister and I were conceived, yes?”
Hannibal smiled wryly. “My father’s wife was greatly displeased with my mother, for lying with her husband, so she ordered her death. When she failed, she tried other alternatives. Darker alternatives. She took my face, and twisted it so no other being would ever be able to look at it without a cry of terror. She gave me a monster, and eventually I embraced it.”
Will was sitting completely still, surprise etched on his delicate features. “This is not your real face?”
The god laughed. “It is a mere parody of my old face, twisted by faulty powers and the skin underneath. Mischa takes savage pleasure in being the only one to know, and I doubt she thought I would show you if she planted the question in your head.”
“I want to see. Please, may I?”
“If you wish.”
Hannibal put both hands on his cheeks and whispered something in a tongue long dead, and started to pull off the carefully woven glamour surrounding his skin. Will squeaked and backed away when the skin pulled off, watching in muted horror as the god’s hair turned black to match the skin underneath. Eyes turned milky white before settling back into dark red, still the same shape, but in a completely new creature. This monster still had sharp cheekbones and strange lips, the same body build, but he was completely black. Antlers rose like twisted branches from his head, curling upwards, creating sharp points that almost brushed the roof of the stone alcove. Hannibal’s clean fingernails grew into wicked claws, long and sharp, and Will couldn't drink it in at all. The god he was so familiar with. Hannibal could see the thoughts as if he were reading a book.
“Ghastly, is it not? Hera was not kind with her administrations.” The god said, his voice deeper than before.
Will reached out and brushed is fingertips across the newly blackened cheek bone.
“It- oh, I just- Hannibal..” The nymph cupped the god’s face in both his hands and stared into his eyes, blue clashing violently with red.
“You are beautifu l. I- your- I do not think I have ever seen a creature so… so... ” Will stammered, and moved to pull away. Hannibal grabbed him before he could and scrutinized the nymph for any trace of a lie. He could not find any deception, only pure wonderment in Will’s eyes and slight tremulous movement to his lips. It was the most wonderful thing he had ever seen.
“Thank you,” Hannibal murmured, and he leaned in to press black lips against Will’s.
There was a beat of stillness before Will reacted by crying out and digging his fingers in Hannibal’s shoulder and pulling them instinctively closer. The nymph’s lips were full and soft, growing desperate and wet with every swish of Hannibal’s tongue, the tug of his teeth.
They kissed breathlessly until a loud splash startled them apart. Will slipped off Hannibal’s lap meekly, a blush spreading from his face to his chest, to pull Winston out from the hot spring. The dog has successfully broke the fragile bubble that the men had constructed, and Hannibal found himself vaguely disappointed. He wouldn't be satisfied with just a kiss, nor a touch or two. He would need enough kisses to drown in, for Will to sink into his skin and never leave, to be parted forever. But the nymph stuttered an excuse and fled before the god could express his desires, and left him to balefully construct his glamour once again, and disappear into the dark.
“Come with me,” Hannibal said as Will stepped over a rotting log carefully, trying not to trip and fall.
“The cities of Greece, to see the temples and flowers and people. Come hunt with me in my own forest.”
Will pursed his lips and leapt over a stream, lost in thought. “Will Mischa let me leave?”
“I could convince her.”
“Fine. I go, only because I want to see the humans you speak so highly and yet lowly of. Your worshipers.”
Hannibal grinned and took the nymph’s hands in his own, and swept them away.
The city that Hannibal chose to show Will was large, teeming with life and filth alike. Men and women roamed the streets, wading through muck, adorned in gold and silk, beautiful and hideous. It terrified and excited Will to no end. He stayed close to Hannibal and watched with a soft delicate manner of a fawn, stumbling on legs unknown and untrusted. The god looked on with humor, gently guiding his nymph past the open stares of the Greeks, their eyes greedy to feast on such unmarred beauty. The pair wandered all over, from the slums where slaves carried on tasks with down trodden eyes and weakened bodies, to the beautiful political buildings inlaid with precious gems and pure marble.
“It is so beautiful, but so disgusting. I do not understand how this world works. Where do they sleep? How ? It is so loud I can barely fathom it…” Will sighed and twisted his hand into Hannibal’s, shoulders hunched as if to protect himself from the noise.
“Ah, do not fret my love, We are almost there. It will be quieter, I promise.”
Will nodded and followed quickly, the black silk swishing above the mud. They passed a group of rich women laughing loudly, discussing something petty, their eyes painted dark in the newly adopted style of the Egyptians. Beside the ladies were nicely dressed slaves that tittered and kept the ladies’ togas out of the mud. Hannibal led them through dark alleyways and up hills, apparently pushing to some unknown destination, a smirk tilting his lips.
“Here we are!” He announced finally, and gestured to the large building in front of him. Will peered around and stepped forward in silent awe at the large temple before him, with its soaring columns and statues that posed in various states along the outside.
“It is lovely. Is this… your temple?” Will asked as he stroked the foot of one of the statues, bent almost backwards underneath the form of a serpent.
“Yes. One of a few, but this one happens to be my favourite. The statues are beautiful,” Hannibal said fondly.
They wove in between the statues of various figures, some the human interpretation of Hannibal, others of beautiful women and men blessed with eternal youth. Will read the words carved into the bases, childlike glee making his cheeks redden.
“ Apollo. Is that what the humans call you?”
“It means ‘to destroy.’ How appropriate.”
“What do you mean by that, Will?”
“Oh, nothing.” The nymph danced away, and swung behind another statue.
Hannibal purred playfully and chased after him, body slinking like the predator he hid so carefully. He stalked Will through the open aired temple, past the few quiet worshipers, until he finally caught the nymph beside an ornate fountain.
“Come hunt with me, love. We will bring back meat for my sister.” Hannibal said, his lips pressed against Will’s bare shoulder as they sat and watched the water ripple.
“Hunt? Here? What game is there to be had in the city?”
“Oh, there are many creatures here. Disgusting things, but the meat is divine if cooked properly.”
“Show me,” Will murmured.
The god led his companion into the quickly darkening streets, where thugs roamed like shadows, and women were drug screaming into brothels. They came upon a dank corner, where a crowd of men gathered in rowdy cheers and screams. Will wrinkled his nose as he watched the men set dogs on each other, fur and blood flying.
“That is revolting. Those poor beasts, how they long to be free,” Will moaned softly in sympathy as one hound fell at the other’s teeth. The men screamed and money went flying.
“See the human off to the side, the fat pig in the gold chair?” Hannibal whispered back, eyes blood red in the dying light.
“We are going to kill him.”
Will breathed in sharply and backed up, eyes wide. “This is what you have been alluding to? You kill and eat humans ? What would your father do ?!”
“Hush my sweet, my father could care less. This is how I show my appreciation to my followers, by killing the foul creatures that plague cities. I am doing everyone a favor.”
“I… How are we going to do it?”
“You are going to go to him, and beg him for his services .”
“What do you mean?”
Hannibal trailed a hand down Will’s spine and watched as another dog was ripped to shreds.
“Ask him to fuck you.”
Will started and pushed the god of him, his face scarlet. “That is horrid! I cannot say such a vulgar thing!”
“If you refuse, I will go in your stead. A few alterations to my appearance should do..”
“No- just- what do you need me to do?”
“Lead him to the alley, and I will follow. Call him your lord and he will follow you to the pits of Tartarus if you asked.”
Will hissed a curse and pushed his way through the crowd, a confident smirk taking the place of his nervous frown. Hannibal watched in amusement as the nymph sauntered to the fat man and leaned on his chair. Will whispered something in the pig’s ear that made him grow red and breathless, and he popped out of his seat so quickly he almost tipped over. Will led the man through the crowd into a darkened alley where he was pushed gracelessly to his knees. As the man happily started to slip out of his toga Hannibal dripped out of the shadows like a black vine, antlers curling from his hair. The man’s screams were muffled by black claws.
It only took a few minutes for Hannibal to finish his work, Will watching in rapt attention, eyes never straying from where Hannibal’s claws carefully cut away the fat to reveal red meat, of which he offered up in a parody of the deer heart Will had given up an age ago. The nymph took the slab of meat and licked a drop of blood off it, humming in approval.
“We shall dine nicely tonight,” He said through bloody teeth.
They did dine, back in the safety of the forest, in their own little hollow. They stoked a roaring fire and danced around it, drunk off the thrill of the kill and the red meat, lips stained with the blood.
Will was laughing as he twirled, hair in a complete disarray.
“I- oh, I want to soar on this feeling!” He giggled.
“Power?” Hannibal laughed back, teeth glinting white in the firelight.
“Oh, maybe. I do not really know.”
“Let us walk, I think you need some fresh air.”
“We are outside , you idiot.”
The god snagged Will’s waist and pressed an open mouthed kiss on his neck.
“ Walk with me . There is a lovely willow grove we can sit under, there are stars…”
Will sighed and followed, like a lamb willingly to slaughter.
The woods were pitch black by the time they reached the willow tree, and Will was shaking from exertion, the high long worn off. He watched nervously as Hannibal beckoned him to lean on the trunk.
“I already told you there is nothing to fear,” Hannibal purred as he got behind the nymph, pinning him to the tree trunk with steel in his grip. Will hissed violently through his teeth, and bucked wildly, trying to escape, but to no avail. He had blindly followed the god, and now he faced the repercussions of his actions. Mischa would never forgive him for breaking his vows. He felt a sob writhe up his throat before he could choke it back down, and Hannibal leaned in closer.
The god nuzzled the nymph’s ear gently before biting down on the junction of his neck, humming in pleasure as Will arched his back in response.
“I.. I t- trusted you!” Will moaned as his face scraped the bark of the tree. Hannibal didn't deign to reply, and instead used his full body weight to pin Will. With his hands freed, the god sharply tugged the silken robe off of Will’s hips, revealing soft mounds of flesh and obscenely flushed skin. He sighed in pleasure, and kissed a line up the nymph’s neck as he squeezed and kneaded the pale flesh. Will whimpered and subconsciously wiggled his hips in the grip, ashamed at the sudden rush of blood to his abdomen. He shouldn't feel so good in this lewd position, his body exposed so completely. He felt the back of his neck tingle as Hannibal openly stared.
“You are the most beautiful creature I have ever laid my eyes upon,” Hannibal said as he grabbed Will by the hair and forced his face around. Will’s eyes were wide, ice blue and black swirling with mixed emotion.
“Ah, and you are a monster-” He was abruptly cut off by his own cry of pleasure when Hannibal’s knee shot up to grind in between Will’s thighs. It was a cruel, harsh pleasure, but Will’s body arched happily with it, begging for more even as Will’s mouth said quite the opposite.
“And what does that make you, Will?” Hannibal whispered back, his leg still painfully thrusting in the apex of Will’s thighs. “One who lusts for a monster? One who begs in his dreams for that monster to ravish him? Do not try to deny this, for the moment I spilt blood in front of you your body ached for the same treatment.”
Hannibal snaked a hand around Will’s nude front and cupped his budding want, coaxing it into hardness all while Will screamed and whimpered curses and praise simultaneously. They both slid slowly from the tree trunk to the soft forest floor, leaving long, cruel trails of blood down its grey bark.
Will whined desperately into the god’s mouth as they kissed, torn between the desire to cry and the urge to give in.
“Shhh love, you are fine..” Hannibal soothed as he lavished attention across the nymph’s chest down to his navel, nipping hard enough to bruise across milky thighs.
“Ah- Mmm, you are a liar .”
“I would never lie to you.”
“You said you respected my wishes! My vows of chastity, yet here you are!”
They twisted violently across the forest floor, eventually settling near the riverbank, Hannibal calmly settled between Will’s legs. He licked his lips as the nymph tried to scratch at his face. Will only succeeded in leaving a slight red mark down Hannibal’s neck, to which he hummed in pleasure.
“My sweet, my darling-” He stroked Will’s lips with his thumb- “ Relax .”
As the moon rose over the trees like a pale, dripping beacon, Will screamed and begged, hips undulating in rhythm with Hannibal’s precise thrusts. He lost himself to sensation, praise barely forming coherently on his tongue, coming out in choked off syllables that were swallowed up quickly by Hannibal's all too eager mouth.
They coupled until either could take no more, no one to witness the act but the trees and the glittering stars.
Several hours later, Will laid prone in his god’s arms, exhausted past the point of anger, his body warm and comfortable in Hannibal’s embrace.
Hannibal whispered sweet things in the nymph’s ear as they rested in the moss, stories of his own life, the feeling of pleasure when humans died in his grasp, the fear of battle, the unending anger, and as he did Will found himself utterly enraptured. The god tore out his soul and set it willingly at his lover’s feet, and the nymph took it in himself and struggled to warm the cold beast that growled evil things that threatened to tear his chest open. The god weaved lilies in Will’s hair has he spoke of his childhood, back when humans would gladly kill and offer sacrifices to catch a glimpse of his face, before Hera took away his beauty and childlike innocence and crushed it under her heal. Will found his voice as well, though hoarse from screaming, and told of his own desires, the animal that lived in his chest, the strange feeling he got when covered in blood, and when he willingly bared his throat to Hannibal’s teeth he could of swore he felt antlers breaking free from his own head, curling up to meet his lover’s.
They didn't leave the shade of the willow tree until Hannibal’s father hissed threats from above, punishments to be had, to which Hannibal reluctantly heeded. He kissed Will thoroughly before he did, and promised his return.
He didn't return soon, despite his promises. His battles consumed him, and after the vicious fight of Troy and the death of Achilles, he hadn't had seen Will in almost a human lifetime.
Time in the forest passed slower than for human time, but when Hannibal managed to come back, things were changed. The trees had grown bigger, branches becoming black and cruel. The animals did not make noise, but fled silently when they heard footsteps, as if they had learned to be afraid of man. Hannibal called for his sister several times, but received no reply, only the soft twitter of the leaves.
He reached the meadow where the nymphs usually resided and stood at the edge, half hidden in shadows. There were drastically less of the woodland women, he noticed immediately. Where there used to be loud voices and sweet laughter now only a few nymphs huddled together underneath the black trees. Hannibal stepped into the light.
The nymphs attention snapped upwards in an instant, fear painting their eyes wide and their bodies stiff. When they realized it was a god, they jumped up so fast Hannibal thought they would get whiplash.
“Hannibal! Oh, Hannibal please-” One sobbed at his feet before the other kicked her into silence.
“ What are you doing here ?” The brown-eyed nymph hissed, turning around as if looking for unseen eyes. “You will anger him.”
Hannibal did not move, but looked up at the dark clouds. “What happened here? Where is my sister?”
“We do not know. We were on a hunt and he-”
“He who? Who are you talking about?”
“ Θα !”
Hannibal drew back and kicked the other nymph from his leg. “Will? Where is he?”
The nymph shook her head desperately. “Please! Stop this, he will come oh and we will be gone-”
As she cried a loud scream shook what few bird were hiding in the trees up into the air, wings pumping desperately to escape. Hannibal swore and drew a dagger from his hip and held it easily as the screams came closer.
“ He comes !” The brown eyed nymph screamed before diving into the underbrush to cower.
Hannibal stood still as a figure entered the meadow, dragging what seemed to be a corpse along side. He smelled of smoke and blood, and the black silk at his hips swung strangely, as if wet. Will came into the light and Hannibal had to step back, the sight wracking something wrong down his spine.
“What have you done, Will?”
Will set down the dead nymph and opened his arms in greeting.
“Oh Hannibal! I have done the world a great deed.” His eyes were large and excited, blue almost swallowed up with black as he came closer. “I killed them.”
“The nymphs? Why? Where is my sister?”
“She fled. Apparently smoke caused her to become… irate. Shame really. I made such a beautiful display.”
Hannibal’s nostrils flared as he took in the smell of fire, and he stepped closer to this new creature. Will stepped forward as well, easily, indifferently, and reached out to lace red hands in Hannibal’s gold hair. The nymph rubbed at Hannibal’s temples roughly, and drug his face down ever so close to his own.
“Come see.” Will said, and turned on his heel to go back to the smoke filled woods. Hannibal found himself incapable of staying behind, and followed the man closely.
A whole grove of trees had been hacked and burned, the god noted as he came into a new clearing. In the center of the new clearing was a large rock, smooth on the top almost like a table. On the makeshift table laid the other nymphs, all in various stages of death and dying. As their life trees burnt, more blood leaked from wounds into the black dirt. Will had butchered his sisters and left them to bleed on a large circle, making the appearance of a red eye glaring up to the heavens.
“Will why would you do this?” Hannibal said, his voice becoming dangerously calm, antlers starting to grow from his skull at the smell of sweet blood.
Will looked down impassively at his massacre before turning in fury, face alight with sudden passion Hannibal had never seen before, even in the throes of pleasure.
“Why? You ask me, in your cold, unfeeling way, why would I kill my sisters? I will tell you why. You left me for years after you ravished me, years for me to agonize, alone, terrified, past the point of redemption. Your sister kicked me out to the mercy of the satyrs, taking away everything . I trusted you, and you took my trust and devoured it. I needed you! The only way to get your attention was to kill them. A sacrifice for a monster, like you told me. The monster that took away the only redemption left for you.” Will collapsed in a heap by the stone, and laid his head of curls on the bloody edge. His tears overflowed from blue eyes and left clear trails in the blood that spattered his cheeks.
Hannibal stepped forward warily, struggling to contain himself as he took in the violence.
“Will… please, understand..”
“ Understand ?! What is there to understand? You are a beast! I will not rest until I have ravaged this earth of your presence, your sickly blight that should not exist!”
The god’s nostrils flared and he grabbed Will’s arm, forcing him to stand.
“Will, killing your kin is not the way to go about this. Please, my father-”
“What about him!”
“I could not come to you, I was facing his judgement. He forced me into servitude, took away everything.”
“You betrayed me all the same, Hannibal. You twisted my love for you into something disgusting!”
They danced around each other like apex predators, hackles raised, eyes red and dangerous. The surviving nymphs sobbed by their sisters, trying to stop the bleeding but failing horribly. As they brushed the edge of a struggle, a flash of lightning hit the rock and set the corpses of fire, ending any life that might have still prevailed. Hannibal immediately backed down, submission forcefully pushed upon him as the mark of Zeus’s orders hissed through the air.
“ The kin of nymph and incubus can not be allowed on this earth, for every breath he breathes taints humanity irreparably. Death is the only way your sins can be absolved.” The voice boomed.
Will stared at his lover with dark eyes, violence leaving his frame like rain from the treetops. He opened bloody palms to the sky and moaned, long and low in his throat.
“So this is how it ends? My sacrifice to my god, ended with the brutal crush of a heel? Hannibal?”
The god did not meet his gaze, and instead drew his dagger from his side.
“My Will, my sweet love. Forgive me. I cannot anger my father again, or my punishment will be absolute. You either die at my hand, or at the strike of His lightning.”
“You would kill me so easily?” Will whispered, tears dripping down his cheeks.
“ Forgive me. ” Hannibal said, and thrust the dagger into Will’s chest.
An immortal creature, no matter the wound or type of death, is reborn. Hannibal killed himself many times before he met the reincarnation of his lover, his sweet Will left in the dying throes of Rome, the embrace of mental illness and pain, the body of a mere human.
Hannibal was not allowed to die, even as his worshippers dwindled and the world became new and strange. He watched in quiet absolution the rise and fall of humanity. He had yet to meet a reincarnation of Will that remembered the past, and so he settled himself to blending in.
He had grown comfortable in the life of a serial killer doctor, enjoying the thrill of deception that came in modern society. However, when Jack Crawford asked for his help, something old and dark came to the surface.
“Who’s this?” Will Graham snapped, avoiding direct eye contact, his body stiff with thinly veiled anger.
“This is Doctor Hannibal Lecter, I brought him in for the Ripper case.”
Hannibal watched in fascination as the new version of his love laughed and met his eyes easily.
“Hannibal, huh? Risen from the dark bowels of the earth to walk amongst men who don't know his true nature?”
The god grinned ferally, excitement flooding his veins for the first time in a millenia.
“Oh, my sweet, you finally have been put in a body that remembers your true self. How quaint .”
Jack gaped, confusion palpable. “Wait a second, what the hell are you guys talking about? You know each other??”
“Quite intimately, one could argue,” Hannibal said, and leaned forward to cup Will’s unshaven jaw. He stroked his lover sweetly, unperturbed by the company of Jack.
Will took off his glasses and sat up straight, all illusions of weakness banished. He embraced the god and kissed him cruelly, nipping his lip before pulling away.
“I hate how much I still covet you, Hannibal. You killed me!”
“And I killed myself soon after, love. I couldn't face my father’s judgement. I kept coming back, however. I managed to meet you in so many lifetimes. “
“Fucking hot. Do go on, tell me of how you couldn't live without me, how much you missed me, your undying love .”
Jack was growing even more pale, pink leaving his lips, and he kept trying to add a word in edgewise.
“Okay okay, you guys are talking in fucking tongues. Please, can someone explain-” He made a move to leave, but was stopped by Hannibal’s icy glare.
“Now Jack, no need to be so hasty. Will and I have a lot of catching up to do.”
Jack Crawford was forcefully tied to his chair, and he watched in confusion and fear as a god and former nymph embraced, all vestiges of humanity transcended, replaced by two black figures whose antlers twisted together like the branches of a willow tree.
“ You are forgiven. ” Will said, and became something new.