The room is quiet, and somehow is made to seem even quieter by Hannibal’s breathing. Will can hear it, slow and even, but slow and even in a way that is entirely different from his usual state of effortless calm. This is a calm and quiet that takes effort and concentration.

Will sits back on the duvet. They should not be doing this on top of a white duvet. They probably should not be doing this at all, but bizarre and potentially embarrassing domestic fire hazards are at the very bottom of the list of things that Will and Hannibal should not do together, but are going to anyway.

He slips a finger in between the ropes that bind Hannibal’s legs both at the ankle and above the knee. They’re tight, tighter than they would need to be if the restraint were the only purpose, but it’s not; Will is still holding out hopes of doing this without permanent wax stains, so he needs Hannibal’s legs pressed together tight enough that none can slip in between them and onto the bed. Hannibal licks his lips, the wet sound of his mouth echoing in Will’s ears.

From his vantage point, Will can see Hannibal’s body bound and arranged more as a collection of angles than a human form. Freedom of movement: afforded to the joints at his knees and shoulders, along one plane only. Limited movement available to the hips. Hannibal is on his knees and elbows with his ass in the air, a position that would be relatively stable if he were able to spread his balance points a little wider. As it is, however, with both his legs and forearms tied together, he is already teetering precariously every time Will shifts on the bed. It requires muscular effort for him to remain upright– and with the added handicap of a blindfold, the overall effect is of constant, visible effort required not to topple over. And Will hasn’t even introduced the main event yet.

He reaches over to the bedside table, and picks up the candle. It’s red, smells vaguely of beeswax, and was marketed for this purpose– well, not precisely this purpose– something similar to this purpose, anyway. Nobody would be surprised to learn that the kind of person who buys a candle indended to be dripped over another person’s body for sexual pleasure might also think to shove said candle in another person’s ass. Probably. Will’s not too sure what normal people are surprised by any more.

There is also a box of matches. He hesitates. Candle in ass first, then light? Or light first, then candle in ass? The former would probably be safer, but given the circumstances he’s not certain that’s an advantage. Hannibal would probably like to imagine that Will is in danger of burning his fingers while he slides it in, so Will lights a match, does nothing with it, and then silently waves it out. He picks up the candle with one hand and spreads Hannibal’s cheeks with two fingers of the other.

It’s not like he’s never seen Hannibal’s asshole before, but it still feels odd to lean in close, as if the entrance to Hannibal’s body were an artwork-in-progress requiring intense concentration, and push the bottom end of the candle against it. It doesn’t take much pressure for Hannibal to get the idea, and bear down to let his body accept the intrusion.

Will slides about a third of it in; not so much that the flame will come near his body, but not so little that it could fall out in a careless moment. It looks utterly bizarre, like some sort of tail. He takes another match out of the box, and lights it.

“Ohh,” Hannibal mumbles. If he’d thought the candle was lighted before, he now knows that it wasn’t, but that the flame is now beginning to eat into the soft wax. He seems almost surprised, even though they’d discussed this. Like he’d thought about it, in the abstract, but the thinking hadn’t extended to the feeling of his body, inescapably solid and real, actually being trapped like this.

Very carefully, Will slides off the bed and places himself in the chair set up beside the mattress. There’s a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher beside the chair, just in case, but Will is relatively sure he’s not going to need them, at least not soon.

How is this going to end, he wonders idly as the first drop of wax falls down from the candle. Hannibal had been leaning forward a little, enough that the hot wax lands just above the back of his knees. His intake of breath is only slightly more laboured than before, but Will hears it.

This is the thing about Hannibal: he’s not incapable of feeling pain. He’s very good at it, actually, given the right focusing mechanisms. Those mechanisms may be increasingly bizarre and baroque as Will allows his imagination to get the better of him, but they are there.

As he watches, he considers Hannibal’s options. At one extreme, he could extend his knees fully and bend his elbows to lie down on his belly. If he did that, the candle would stick straight up in the air, and the wax would roll down the length of it into the cleft of his cheeks. At the other extreme, he could bend his knees, sit back on his heels, and extend his elbows such that the candle pointed out behind him: he would get the wax on the soles of his feet, then. Or, he could try something in the middle; ass in the air, but with the candle aligned to drip on his thighs or calves, hardier skin than any of the other options. That, however, takes effort; Will can already see Hannibal’s abdominal muscles twitching and bulging as he tries to stabilize himself, and eventually, he will fail and have to change positions, or fall over and engulf their bed in flames.

Then, of course, there is the matter of his hard cock and full balls– because oh yes, Will notes, Hannibal is aroused. At present, he has managed to trap the sensitive organs in between his stomach and thighs, out of the way of the wax. But one wrong move and the wax will run down his cheeks and into the slightly wrinkly seams at the bottom of his testicles. Will extends his legs slightly in front of the chair, settling in as if in front of a movie screen.

He just watches the show, for a while. Hannibal keeps the wax dripping onto his calves for as long as he can, then leans forward, and jerks like he’s been electrocuted the first time it drips down onto his ass. Unfortunately, the sudden movement just makes his asscheeks separate a little, so that the hot red liquid can run down further and pool around his hole. He moans again at that, a noise that exists separate from notions of pleasure or pain and just hangs, then squeezes his cheeks together and reluctantly allows the wax to pool on the plump, muscular flesh.

Will licks his lips, and marvels at the way he can feel every moment magnified as if he is Hannibal. The seconds stretch out, each one containing choices upon painful choices. He thinks of the scene he knows existed, that he nevertheless has only ever gotten to see in his imagination: Hannibal tied up like a pig in Mason’s pen, naked, allowing each moment to pass by and biding his time. Biding his time until he could take Will, and tuck him gently into bed.

It’s a little like seeing what he missed out on. But not quite. Not good enough.

Which is why, when Hannibal finally croaks out, “Enough– Will, take it out,” Will hesitates for just a moment. Hannibal is calculating. He wouldn’t wait until the last moment that he was physically capable of holding himself up to ask.

But apparently he would, because he is now shaking violently, and he lists to the side too far to pull himself back. He instinctively tries to kick out a knee to stop himself from falling over, but his knees are tied together, and Will watches it happen in slow motion and can think of nothing else to do but take the bucket of water and slop it over the bed, the cold water sloshing over Hannibal’s wax-covered lower half and no doubt cementing the stuff in place. But it extinguishes the candle before it lights the duvet on fire.

Hannibal lies, bound and blindfolded and shivering, in a pool of water, and Will–

--well. He tries not to.

Will starts laughing, because it’s fucking hilarious.

“Will,” says Hannibal, as dignified as he possibly can, “Please untie me. And then please bring me somewhere that isn’t this sodden mattress, and suck my cock.” He is, against all odds– or perhaps not– still hard.

“Okay,” says Will, still laughing but now remembering the way he’d been drugged and senseless but still able to feel Hannibal’s strong fingers freeing him from the restraints that held him down as Cordell had brought the knife towards his face. He undoes Hannibal’s bonds just as quickly, swiping warm fingers over the cold pink skin underneath. “Okay, I will. I’m here.”