Abigail leans forward over the antique dresser, admiring herself in the cloudy mirror overtop of it. Both sets of earrings are nice: like everything else Hannibal buys, they’re expensive and classy. This one is gold, with a teardrop shape and an iridescent opal set into the middle; just hovering on the line between understated and ostentatious. The one she’s just tried on is a long, wavy line of tiny diamonds that nearly brushes her shoulder. Abigail likes both of them. She wouldn’t have chosen either for herself, and she likes that even more; she wants the things that Hannibal gives her to be obvious, to visibly belong to him and stand out on the canvas that is her. She suspects that’s why he likes to buy her earrings: the ornament stands out more on the one ear she has to put it on, drawing attention to the absence on the other side.

Will is sitting perched on the end of her bed, where he’d settled when she called him in. His head is tilted to the side, and he’s clearly trying very hard to make it seem like he cares at all about which earring is more aesthetically pleasing. Abigail glances at him through the mirror, and has to stifle a giggle.

“That one seems more practical,” he offers. “The long one could get caught on something.”

His voice is strained, and now she does giggle a bit, and twirls to face him. “We’re just going for dinner tonight, Will,” she says. “Dinner, in a restaurant, with my dads—” she delights internally at the look on his face every time she says that, halfway in between pain and pride— “where someone else is making the food, for once. Not much potential for action. If ever there’s a time for an impractical earring, it’s now.”

Will thinks that because he can tell what other people are feeling, that he’s also capable of covering up his own emotions. He’s wrong. He knows he’s an open book to Hannibal, of course, but Abigail wonders if he knows that she can see right through him too. He probably does. It’s probably why he looks so disturbed when she adds, artificially high and girlish, “and besides, if anything does go wrong, Hannibal will take care of it.”

She can practically feel Will’s teeth grinding together at her display of open trust. Abigail is more similar to Hannibal than she is to Will on the empathy scale, but she’s not oblivious. It’s obvious that he’s jealous of her, and it makes her feel fizzy and high to be able to goad him, to see just how much she can make him envy her.

After all, there’s plenty for her to envy about him. Will shares Hannibal’s bed and his confidence. He can kiss Hannibal in public, hold his hand. If Hannibal were caught, Will would share in his downfall, and the two of them would probably set Abigail up as some sort of poor, brainwashed hostage. She would take no part in the blame, while the two of them rotted in prison or fried on the electric chair. She hates that, can’t stand the idea that the outside world would see her as anything less than equals with them.

She hates that she can only provoke Hannibal to touching her by appealing to his sense of ownership, his fucked-up idea of fatherhood. She hates that she forces herself to whimper Daddy when she comes instead of Hannibal, like Will can.

So the fact that Will envies Abigail’s role sets her ablaze. His eyes linger over the new dress, the choice of earrings to match. The way that Hannibal takes care of her and controls her. How he’s gentle with her in a way he never bothers with with Will. She can tell that Will wants it, and she can’t tell if she wants to dangle it just out of his reach, or offer to share it with him.

Perhaps if she offers to share her version of Hannibal with him, Will can share his with her.

Abigail sets the practical earring back down on the dresser, and picks up the dangly one. She puts it on as she walks over to Will, finally lowering herself onto his lap when it’s in place. Will flinches a bit. He has more trouble accepting his own attraction to Abigail than Hannibal does, which makes him almost more fun. Seducing Will is like reeling in a victim, every single time, and she loves it.

“Daddy will take care of us,” she teases, and Will flinches harder even as she can feel his cock jump against her thighs. He leans forward, resting his forehead against her shoulder, hiding his face. “C’mon,” he mutters. “Don’t.”

She wraps her arms around him and pulls him close, breathing deep. Hannibal isn’t wrong about Will’s aftershave, but Abigail likes it. When she’d told Hannibal that, she’d suggested to him that perhaps teenage girls are genetically programmed to respond sexually to the smell of aftershave with a ship on the bottle. Hannibal had wrinkled his nose and slapped her cheek playfully before he fucked her, and she’d liked that.

When he slaps Will, though, Hannibal isn’t playing. She’s seen Will’s entire ass purple with bruises, brilliant colours trailing down his thighs almost to his knees, and Abigail wants that.

Will lets her lie back on the bed and kisses her, softly, gentlemanlike. She likes Will for how his tenderness isn’t an act, how he can caress her without it feeling fatherly. In these moments, he’s more like a sibling to her in the strange, otherworldly pageant of their family.

She decides, as his fingers trail up under her dress and into her panties, that she will give him what he wants; or rather, find a way to make Hannibal give him what he wants. A sister, she thinks, amused, surrounded and filled by Will’s warmth and gentleness. I always wanted one.

***

The next day Abigail asks Hannibal for a hollow piercing needle, and a package appears on her bed later that week. She investigates the contents: a selection of needles, a surgical skin marker, plus several different types of jewelry: a curved navel barbell, nostril stud and ring, and several different choices of earrings. The variety means that he hasn’t guessed what she’s planning, and she feels excitement fluttering in her belly at that thought.

“Do you think he’ll be angry with us?” Will asks. He’s sitting on her bed again, but this time he’s different. He’s wearing one of Abigail’s nightgowns, to start; it actually more or less fits him around the waist, but barely reaches to his knees, whereas on her it’s mid-calf. Luckily the sleeves are billowy; anything that fits her would never work for Will’s shoulders.

Abigail is in comfortable plaid pyjamas that she’d changed into in front of him just after handing him the nightie: innocent, sisterly. Will’s voice is higher now, his face softer and more relaxed. He’s picking up on cues from Abigail, of course, and Abigail is realizing that she likes this. She’s good at having a sibling, loves the idea of guiding her little sister in small acts of mischief.

She’d boiled the earrings to maybe-almost-sterilize them earlier in the evening. Hannibal had noticed her going into the kitchen, and for a moment she’d felt a delicious thrill of fear at the idea of being caught, but he hadn’t asked what she was doing. Now they’re set out on a plate along with the plastic package containing the needle, the marker, and a wine cork that she’d made Will go pilfer.

“He won’t be angry,” Abigail says confidently. “We’re being responsible. Look at how clean everything is.” She rips open an alcohol wipe and leans in close to him to swipe both sides of his earlobes with it.

“Daddy likes to see me in pain, though,” Will says plaintively into her shoulder, and Abigail smiles fondly at how well he’s taking on the role. She’d guessed right: Will loves this.

“It won’t hurt too much,” she reassures him. “It’s not like I’m sticking you with a sewing needle and an apple. That, he wouldn’t want to miss. This is just to make you look nice for him.” She picks up the pen to make tiny purple dots in the centre of Will’s earlobes, then leans back to make sure they’re even. “Go check that in the mirror,” she says.

Will shrugs and stays where he is. “I trust you,” he says.

Abigail smiles. “They’re going to look so good,” she encourages, stroking Will’s cheek. He’s a little nervous; whether he’s picking it up from her or generating it himself, she isn’t sure.

The cork is awkward to position behind his ear; Will reaches for it, rips off a piece and hands it back to her, and that’s easier. Abigail bites her lip in concentration as she picks up the needle. “Okay, um,” she says, “I think I just… do this bit, first, then put the earring in it and slide it through.” She feels a little jittery, though it’s not at the idea of making a permanent modification to Will’s body that’s doing it— he partially digested her ear, after all. More the knowledge that Hannibal is going to inspect her handiwork, and imagine this scene unfolding.

“Okay,” says Will, breathy. She sits down on the edge of the bed beside him, one leg on the floor and one braced on the mattress. He reaches out and places a hand on her thigh, his shaking fingers grasping onto the fabric of her pyjamas.

“My dad always used to tell the girls to take a deep breath in, and he’d cut on the breath out,” she says. She knows Will understands who she means; Hannibal doesn’t do that, and the three of them rarely hunt girls. She watches Will’s chest rise as he draws in his breath.

He lets it out slowly through pursed lips, and Abigail punches the needle through the skin and into the cork.

She pushes the needle through most of the way, then goes to get the earring to feed it in. “Not so bad?” She asks as she pushes the back onto the simple diamond stud, and Will smiles unsteadily. “It was fine,” he admits.

“Good.” She settles on his other side, and he grasps at her thigh again for something to hold onto. “You’re doing great,” she soothes as she places the needle on the dot. “We’re almost done, and then you’re going to look so pretty.” Will shivers at that, and she waits for him to take in a deep breath before pushing the needle through and placing the second earring.

Will is slightly unsteady on his feet when he rises to inspect the result in the mirror, and Abigail stands behind him, hugging around his waist. “So? Do you like them?”

Will just nods, his reflection looking shy and pleased. She can feel his erection if she moves her arm just slightly down, but it’s not for her tonight, and the thought of what he is hard for is more interesting than the idea of having him herself.

She spins him around, looking critically up and down his body. The nightgown looks good on him, even with their size difference. It’s white and flowy, and reminds Abigail of going to see The Nutcracker at Christmas with her family as a child. She had seen it in a shop, and Hannibal had sent her into a dressing room with it without her even saying anything. She brushes the sleeve with her hand. “Don’t ruin it,” she instructs. “Daddy should buy you your own, anyway. One that fits you properly. I’ll remind him.”

Will is blushing; it extends from his cheeks all the way down his neck. “Okay,” he says, and reaches his hand up to fiddle with his earlobe.

She swats his hand away. “Don’t fiddle with them. And don’t let Daddy touch them, either.” She reaches up to tousle his hair. “You look beautiful. Are you ready?”

Will nods. His smile looks like he’s trying to keep it contained but it’s pushing up, breaking onto his face like the sun. He’s thrilled, and a little scared, and it makes Abigail throw her arms around him excitedly. “Have fun!” she says, hugging him tightly, and Will hugs back, his heart hammering in his chest hard enough for her to feel against her cheek. “Thank you,” he squeaks, and she pushes him towards the door.

***

For a few days, she can’t get Will alone again. It’s a good thing, really, since it means that Abigail’s plan worked: Will brought Hannibal something new to do to him, and Hannibal seems to have latched onto it with vigour. Abigail glows with pride every time she notices something new: that Will now wears a delicate gold chain around his neck, how the two of them have been going out shopping together without inviting her, that her nightgown ends up back in her closet with a dry-cleaner’s tag still attached. She pretends not to hear the sounds that leak through the walls from the next bedroom, but she grins and giggles into her pillow every time she hears Will moaning daddy in a tone of voice that sounds like he’s found God.

At meals, nothing seems different; until one evening, when Hannibal gives Will thorough instructions for preserving the leftovers and cleaning the kitchen, kisses his neck and tousles his hair gently, then pours glasses of something amber and expensive for himself and Abigail and leads her into the sitting-room.

Usually, it’s Hannibal who pulls Abigail to him: who brings her quietly into his bedroom and calls her a good girl as he undresses her— and even that only when she’s been playing up the role. Now, she doesn’t wait for him to initiate: she places her drink on a side table without taking a sip and straddles him where he’s sitting on the end of the couch.

She crashes her mouth into his, and he kisses her back fiercely with no hesitation or surprise. Of course he isn’t surprised: she recognizes on some level that he wanted this, planned this, that even her taking control is still her operating within the confines of Hannibal’s plan for her. She doesn’t care, though; it feels too good to grind down into him, taking what she wants. Her dress rides up as the mound of his clothed erection juts up at just the right angle to press into the wetness soaking through her underwear.

He gets the dress off of her, somehow. She doesn’t care that he throws it into a heap on the floor; he bought it, so he can treat it however he likes. “I’m sorry,” Hannibal murmurs, unhooking her bra and then sucking bruises into her neck and chest, “If you have been feeling neglected in the past little while, Abigail.”

He’s holding her still from beneath her ear and the place where her other ear would be, just where her jaw meets her neck. Abigail can barely think straight, because she’s too busy feeling Hannibal hurting her again, finally, for the first time since he didn’t kill her. She finally manages to marshal her resources enough to gasp, “I haven’t. I’ve been— enjoying—” before he bites the soft skin underneath her arm and she loses her train of thought.

Hannibal chuckles. “Yes, I imagine you have. It was a heady gift you gave me, Abigail. Of course I wanted to take the time to appreciate it properly.”

“I didn’t do it for you,” she mutters, leaning to the side so that he can pull her underwear down and off. She is vaguely aware that the clatter from the kitchen has stopped: Will is listening.

“I see.” He leaves off sucking and biting, leaning back and suddenly devoting all of his attention to scrutinizing the look on her face as he slowly but firmly rubs a single finger down her belly, over her clit and just barely inside her, teasing. Abigail bites her lip, trying to hold his gaze and not double over at the overwhelming desire for more, and presses down into his hand. “You did it for Will,” he says.

Abigail leans forward, grabs onto Hannibal’s shoulders and uses the force to crush his hand in between his body and hers, rubbing against it. He huffs a laugh, calling her greedy with no more than a twitch of the lips, but allows her to start pleasuring herself against his outstretched hand and the soft fabric of his expensive pants. “But you’re not that selfless,” he continues, whispering right into her ear. “Mostly, you did it for you.”

“If I have to be your little girl, I’d prefer to have company,” she pants, because Hannibal is right, it wasn’t selfless; Abigail has never done anything selflessly in her life.

Hannibal is silent for a moment, contemplative. Abigail just closes her eyes and listens to the sound of her own rough breathing, the slick sound of his fingers playing over her and inside her.

It’s a surprise, then, when he pushes her off of him, forcing her down onto her back on the couch so that he can loom over her. She gasps when he pinches a nipple hard, and then nearly has the air punched out of her again when he says mildly, “Very well. You can be whatever you would like to be, to me.”

Oh God. He has both of her nipples in his fingers now, and he’s pinching and twisting them savagely, and she feels like she’s about to combust, or leave her body entirely. “Just this,” she gasps. “I just want to be… this.”

When she comes, she convulses around him, squeezing his hand between his thighs until she gradually, dizzily, returns to herself.

Hannibal looks entirely content despite his trapped limb and obvious erection. He’s gazing at her fondly, but it’s more predatory than paternal. She grins, and notices that Will is leaning against the doorframe, looking soft and graceful and turned-on. He’s fiddling with his earrings, exactly like she told him not to.

She meets Hannibal’s eyes, and nods. If I can be whatever I want, right now I will be this, for him.

“Come here, sweet thing,” Hannibal calls to Will, and pats the space on the couch beside him. Will floats over, settling on the cushion with his knees drawn up in front of him, wriggling slightly to put subtle pressure on his erection.

“Abigail,” says Hannibal, “I think you should show your little sister how to take care of Daddy. You do it so well.”

Will’s eyes go wide as dinner plates, and Abigail has to force down a giggle at his expression as she efficiently undoes Hannibal’s pants and pulls them and his briefs down his legs. His cock springs free, and Will licks his lips and shifts his hips again.

She reaches out with her tongue, just lapping at the head and letting Hannibal to lie back and spread his thighs to allow her better access. She ends up slipping onto the floor in between his knees, from where she can look up at the both of them. “I start just by teasing him a little,” she says softly, addressing herself to Will. “Gently. When he’s like this, he can’t make you do anything you don’t want to.”

Will is squirming in earnest now, and Abigail glances up at Hannibal beseechingly. “Please, daddy,” she says in an undertone, “He’ll learn better if he’s not uncomfortable.”

Hannibal sighs. “You’re too indulgent, Abigail,” he says, “But I suppose that’s what sisters are for. You may touch yourself, Will.”

Will yanks down his pants to his ankles and takes himself in hand so quickly that Abigail has to tamp down a laugh again. She swallows down on Hannibal’s cock instead, relishing the way he arches up into her despite his attempts to appear calm. “You don’t have to try to take his entire length,” she tells Will. “Don’t choke yourself unless you want to. Your hand will do just fine, just get it nice and wet.” She licks over it, and Will’s hand on his own cock speeds up.

She wraps her slick hand around the base of Hannibal’s cock, and starts pumping him slowly, her mouth on the head, her fist pressing down against his balls. “As slow as you can,” she says. “This is where you have him. If you could keep him here forever, he would be yours.” Will’s eyes flick over to Hannibal, who is clearly trying to look disdainful and utterly failing.

For a while there is silence but for the sound of spit on skin, skin on skin, heavy breathing. Abigail closes her eyes, breathing in the musk of Hannibal’s skin and the feeling of his hand which has made its way to her hair, alternately stroking and tugging through the strands.

“He’s getting close,” Will observes, voice ragged and fascinated. “Are you going to make him come?”

Abigail reaches out a hand to touch Will’s knee. “Would you like me to, little sister?” she asks. Will just nods, and his eyes return to Hannibal. “Can I come too, daddy?” he asks pitifully.

Hannibal is too far gone for there to be much authority in his voice when he says, “Very well,” and soon he’s lifting his head up and spending into Abigail’s mouth. She swallows it, not allowing herself to wince at the taste. She’d never had any desire to swallow semen, before Hannibal; but there’s something about taking into herself part of a body that has consumed so many other bodies that’s familiar to her. Comforting. She watches as Will comes into his fist, white slick coating his fist, and he collapses back against the cushions looking exhausted.

Abigail just lays her head on Hannibal’s thigh. He’s breathing deeply, regaining his control, and it feels like the world is coming back into balance as he does.

He tsks and reaches towards Will. “You’ve made a mess, sweetheart,” he observes. “Give me your hand.” Will extends his hand, and Hannibal carefully laps the semen up from it. Will whimpers a tiny bit as Hannibal’s tongue flicks in between his fingers. Abigail smiles at his expression, nuzzles a little bit into Hannibal’s leg.

“You’re exhausted,” Hannibal tells Will, then turns to her. “Abigail, take your sister to go get ready for bed. I’ll clean up here.”

Abigail doesn’t bother dressing before she leads Will up the stairs to his and Hannibal’s bedroom, where he immediately collapses spread-eagled on the coverlet.

She comes to sit beside him, and he stares up at the ceiling, a grin slowly spreading across his face and his eyes losing the dreamy, passive sheen that they take on when he’s being Abigail’s little sister.

He meets her eyes, and Abigail grins back. “Thanks,” he says simply, and it’s just Will there, no trace of the persona Abigail had helped him find and set loose on Hannibal. “That was…” he breathes a long breath out, shaking his head a little. “Something else.”

She sits back against the headboard, looking around the room. It’s an elegant bedroom, the kind that gives nothing away: just the bed, two bedside tables, a wardrobe, and the door to the ensuite bathroom. An adult bedroom. The only object out of place is a wide wooden hairbrush on the bedside table, which she’s almost certain she’s heard being used for purposes that had nothing to do with grooming.

“Want me to brush your hair for you?” she offers. Will smiles a little. “You don’t have to,” he says. “I don’t… I’m done with being… that. For the night.”

Abigail shrugs. “Then I won’t brush my little sister’s hair, I’ll brush Will Graham’s,” she says, picking it up. Will pushes himself up so his back is to her, hugging his knees, and bends his head forward. Abigail trails her fingers through his curls first, then follows them with the bristles, working out the knots. Will sighs and leans back a little into her legs.

“Why do you like it?” she asks. It’s an invasive question, but with his back to her, and her hands on his head, it feels possible to ask. “If you want to tell me,” she adds half-heartedly. She’s the one who’d seen it, and who’d encouraged him, after all. If anyone should be allowed to understand, it’s her.

Will is quiet for a long time save for small noises of pleasure as Abigail continues to run the brush through his now-smooth hair. Finally she puts the hairbrush back on the bedside able and continues to just run her fingers through his locks, letting him lean back against her fully.

“We always have to… push against each other,” Will says finally, just when Abigail had given up on getting an answer. “And he’s always just a tiny bit ahead, a tiny bit on top of me, but I have to… I have to keep trying.” He shivers as Abigail’s fingers press on a particularly sensitive spot on his scalp.

“But you love it,” she says. “You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. You probably wouldn’t be alive.”

Will nods. “I love it,” he whispers. “I just… sometimes… I want a break. I want the other side of him, the side that takes care of you.” Abigail can see the corners of his mouth turn up even around the sides of his face. “The side that makes you chafe against it and yearn for a good hard fuck.”

“Mmm.” Abigail starts stroking down his back through his shirt. “The gentle, loving Hannibal Lecter.”

“Something like that.”

“But you need to be able to go back,” Abigail understands. “So it’s better for it to be… not you.”

Will just sghs contentedly, and shucks off everything but his boxers before wriggling under the covers. He holds open the other side for her, expectant. “Staying?” he asks.

Abigail swallows. A large part of her wants to, would like nothing better than to curl up under the luxurious covers in Hannibal and Will’s bedroom.

“Like a kid crawling into Dad’s bed after a nightmare?” she asks. “Or like a sister sharing an air mattress on vacation?”

“Both. Neither. Whatever you like.”

She crawls in, pressing herself up against Will’s side, and he flicks off the light. He feels warm and safe, and she purposely stays awake to savour it. She shrinks into Will as if for shelter when the door opens and Hannibal walks into the darkened bedroom, and feels Will’s fingers twine into hers.

Hannibal slips under the covers, immediately throwing an arm over Will and Abigail together, and she relaxes. After a moment, she unglues herself from Will’s chest, allowing her body to come to rest cradled between them.

She’s not a daughter, and not really a lover, and not quite a sister, either, Abigail thinks. Perhaps there isn’t a word yet for the kind of family they are.

Abigail holds tight to her family, and they hold her back, and they sleep.