Being touched by Will feels like communing with God.

Being close to another human has always been Hannibal’s preferred form of worship, but the only way Hannibal has found so far of accomplishing the task has been decidedly fatal to the other party. Getting inside a human body, transmuting God’s creation into something more perfect and worthy. Sex has never even been in the same category, for him.

Until now. Hannibal is lying back on the covers, his wrists tied to the posts at the top of the bed to prevent him from exerting undue influence over the proceedings. Will had wanted him passive, so passive he is being; refraining even from snapping his hips as Will sits astride him, sliding slowly up and down on his cock.

He doesn’t think about what he knows is coming next. Can’t stand it, if he gives himself too much time to contemplate it.

Instead he just looks; drinks in how the firey tones of the setting sun filtering in through the gaps in the curtain stain Will’s skin almost red, how the muscles in his thighs stand out proud and powerful as he impales himself over and over again, how Will tips his head back to drink in pleasure like it’s his birthright. Which it is, thinks Hannibal fiercely. Will was born for this just as much as he was born for blood and pain.

Hannibal can see the sweat gathering in the hollows of Will’s collarbones, feels the shift in angle around his cock when Will leans forward to brace his hands on the mattress on either side of Hannibal’s body.

Will will come first, as he always does. Well, perhaps first is not exactly the right term for this situation. Will comes, that is all, and he squeezes Hannibal’s body beneath him like he is just a piece of meat to be used for Will’s pleasure, a casual disregard that Hannibal could beg for and beg for and never grow tired of, not if he got it every day for the rest of his life.

And then, when he’s ready, Will sits back up with Hannibal’s cock still seated inside him even though he must be sore and overstimulated but Will doesn’t care, he never cares, he would keep going forever if only Hannibal gave him the word, but—

“Do you deserve to come today, Hannibal?” Will asks, and Hannibal can’t bear to look at him, wants to hide his face or simply crawl somewhere deep and dark and not have to answer, but he can’t, he needs Will to stop, Will has to stop moving or else—

“No,” he says, and it comes out almost a sob, an echo, practically a reflex after so many days in a row being asked the same question and giving the same answer.

And Will sighs, slumps into relaxation, climbs off of Hannibal’s lap with no ceremony at all, leaving Hannibal’s hard cock waving in the air pathetically.

Hannibal grips the headboard, lets out a long sigh. He tries to release the tension in his body, just a little bit, but it’s impossible; Will has been denying him too long.

Will, of course, would be the first to point out that he’s not denying him: the choice belongs entirely to Hannibal. Hannibal is not so lovesick as to not be able to recognize his own style of game. The choice belonging to him makes it worse, not better. Which therefore makes it better, possibly the best thing that’s ever happened to Hannibal, to have Will hurt him like this, stab him and force him to twist the knife himself, day after day.

Will lies down beside him, panting a little. His eyes narrow as he regards Hannibal, from the sweat on his upper lip to his pained expression to his unpleasantly aroused state, and Will looks almost confused. Like he wasn’t expecting it to go on this way.

Hannibal badly wants to touch himself; at the moment can hardly hold a thought in his mind that isn’t the fact that he could end his torment right now in a few seconds with his own tight fist, if he had it free. It’s already slick from having fingered Will, before Will had decided he’d rather remove the use of Hannibal’s hands from the equation. Right now Hannibal is grateful for it; he’s not certain he could resist. He affects a confidence he does not quite feel as he whispers, “Oh, mylimasis, did you underestimate me so badly?”

Will reaches his own arms overhead and stretches a little, feeling the aftermath of the pleasant intrusion into his body. He waits a few more minutes, until Hannibal is sure he can control himself, before undoing the ropes that hold Hannibal’s wrists. He looks a little exasperated. “It’s not a test, Hannibal,” he says. “You don’t lose if you allow yourself to come. It’s just a question.”

And oh, Hannibal thinks as he savoirs the exquisite cruelty, if that isn’t the most painful part of it all.

***

It only gets worse. Hannibal would expect nothing less from Will.

Will traps him at any moment he feels like it: around the house, out by the river, over kills. He cups his hand roughly over Hannibal’s cock, or drags his fingers down the crack of his ass over his pants, or pinches a nipple hard enough to make Hannibal bite his lip to stop himself from crying out.

Hannibal feels like he’s on a hair trigger, ready at any moment to be exactly what Will wants him to be. It’s always better to have a victim who participates in their own destruction, so Hannibal does; rutting up against Will, moaning into his mouth, begging to fuck and be fucked even though he knows how it’ll end. He knows that every time he gives into his own desperation, it will only end with him even more desperate.

Will, for his part, plays along. Hannibal cannot figure out his motivations, which is its own gorgeous kind of torture; sometimes he thinks Will seems almost frustrated with the game, perhaps as trapped as Hannibal is into the holding pattern of painful frustration. The idea that Will may not even want this, that Hannibal is suffering for nothing, is too awful to even think about head-on. He goes on around the thought. Will asks do you deserve to come, and images of Will flash before Hannibal’s eyes: Will shivering and sweating from hallucinations, Will sitting in a dingy jail cell, Will bleeding out on the floor and tied to a chair with his forehead split open. He wouldn’t take any of it back. He would live it all again, if he could. But Hannibal has to admit that from Will’s perspective, Hannibal deserves nothing at all— least of all pleasure, or kindness, or solace.

So Hannibal is happy with what he has. Radiantly, incandescently happy in his subjugation and misery.

***

Will has killed again, and he is furious.

The aftermath of Will’s kills is almost as fascinating to Hannibal as the kill itself. Each one has been different, like tasting the same ingredients mixed together in different proportions. Will isn’t indiscriminate, but neither is he a vigilante. He kills when he wants to, and when he does, he finds an appropriate subject.

This victim, though, has left Will angry; a surplus of anger, too much to pour into the frail human body of the odious man who’s going to die eventually. The perfect combination of white-collar crimes, sexual crimes and plain old rudeness; Will had allowed Hannibal to watch him remove the man’s organs while he still lived, screaming into a gag until he fainted, at which point Will revived him again to witness more of his own dismemberment.

It’s still not enough. There are some people for whom it’s never enough, no amount of pain or torture. Hannibal is pretty sure he must be one of them, for Will.

So Hannibal drops to his knees on the floor of their workshop, staining the knees of his pants with blood and gore, and nuzzles into Will’s thighs worshipfully, begging for entrance. Will grants it, already half-hard from the high of the kill and fairly vibrating with energy: yanks down his pants and underwear and steps out of them, bracing a hand on the table that still holds the emptied-out corpse on it.

Hannibal sucks sloppily for a while and then gives up trying to do anything at all, letting Will grab his head between two strong, blood-covered hands and thrust in and out of his mouth. Hannibal can feel the blood gathering between Will’s fingers and then running down Hannibal’s cheeks and into his neck, slick and cold and wonderful, the once-hot fluid of blood pumping through a body turned sticky and cold.

He can practically feel the anger and frustration on Will; he imagines this might be what it’s like to be Will, and savours it, trying to take as much of it as he can into his own body.

And then Will tenses and gasps and Hannibal prepares to taste him, right up until Will roughy pulls Hannibal’s head away, off of his cock.

“Do I deserve to come, Hannibal?” He snarls. “After all this? After this carnage, after betrayal upon betrayal— do you think I deserve what I take from you?”

Hannibal tries to lean back in, desperately wants Will’s orgasm, wants to taste him. Will pushes him away. “Do you?” he insists.

“I want you to,” Hannibal says. “Will, I want you to take it. Please.” He grabs at Will’s thighs, trying to pull him in again.

Instead, Will drops to his knees, facing Hannibal if slightly shorter than him. He tips his face up, and his eyes are gentle, drained of the manic energy of this kill. He pats down the sides of Hannibal’s face, leaving smeared bloody handprints on him, and says, “I know you do. You want me to take, even though I do not deserve.”

Hannibal feels the bottom drop out of his stomach, realization shooting through him. Because he does; there is nothing that Will could say or do, to Hannibal or to anyone else, that would make Hannibal want to pleasure him less. He does not love Will in spite of his cruelty, but because of it.

“As you love me,” Hannibal breathes, and finally the cloud that always settles over Will’s face as they do this parts.

“Do you deserve to come,” he mocks. “Of course you don’t, Hannibal. Thank god neither of us are getting what we deserve.

Hannibal moans and grabs at him, roughly and without finesse, pushing Will down into the puddle of blood. His curls fan out on the floor and clump together in the dark liquid, and Hannibal manages to undress as far as he needs to before slicking his hand in the gore and stroking himself to hardness. He’s never far from it, these days, and Will is grinning at him, tilting his hips up in invitation.

“Fuck me,” Will says. “Come in me. Even though neither of us deserve it.”

So Hannibal does, lining himself up and pressing in slowly and gently with the dead man’s not-quite-slick-enough blood easing the way, and Will lies back and closes his eyes and lets him in, even though letting Hannibal inside him is the last thing Will should do.

“Yeah,” he says instead. “Come on. Take what you want, Hannibal, fuck.”

Hannibal is moving now, driving him into the floor in a way he knows will leave bruises on Will’s ass and the back of his shoulders that Hannibal will get to admire for days, and press his fingers into until Will moans with pain, and it’s all so much more than he deserves that he can barely stand it. So he just goes harder, taking more, taking everything he possibly can. Permission was never granted for anything between them. It never needed to be.

They lie in a mess of semen and sweat and blood for a long time afterwards, underneath the dissection-table and beside the cooler full of organs, just breathing each other in. Basking in the glow of the unexpected, the unjustifiable, the undeserved.