“Yes,” Will whispers. “Yes, please.” He’d been nervous for this, somehow, even while wanting it, but the moment Hannibal pushes him down and whispers “may I?” all he is is wanting. Hannibal’s hands are on him, and that means there’s nothing Will can do. Hannibal holds his agency in the callused pads of his fingertips, sucks it into his own bone marrow, smooths it out of Will with palms on his forehead and the back of his neck and over his shoulders. When Hannibal has him like this, all he has to do is feel. It’s never been pleasure before, that he’s felt. But the principle, somehow, is the same.

Hannibal’s thumb is on his lips, and when his right hand dips down between his legs, fingers slick with lube, Will lets his legs fall open. His mouth, too, and one thumb pushes inside. It feels good. It feels so good to have two fingers, and then three, the hand on his face mirroring the other, two fingers and then three pushing inside and he can see Hannibal’s hand moving on his face in his peripheral vision as if he were watching–

–“what?

Hannibal’s hands still, which is awful, terrible, a tragedy, but the face remains that the hand he can see, the one on his face, in his mouth, somehow has three fingers on his tongue goddamn it he can feel them, feel all their pads and grooves, and yet. There are, hovering right in front of his eyes, a thumb and two more fingers.

It is, he recalls, often hard to think when Hannibal is touching him. The last time he’d gotten into Will’s insides, Will had hallucinated a whole goddamn stag, lying right there on the floor beside him. Surely this is just a little thing, some metaphor his mind has come up with.

“Is there a problem?” Hannibal asks mildly.

Will runs his tongue over the digits in his mouth. There are three. One, two, three. And the ones he can see: one, two three. Basic addition is sometimes difficult, in circumstances such as these. Perhaps he’s summing them incorrectly.

“You have six fingers,” Will tries, not at all sure if he’s done the math correctly. Hannibal will surely correct him if he gets it wrong. Won’t he?

Hannibal blinks. “Yes,” he says.

Will scoots backwards, and the three fingers in his ass slip out– two more on that hand, three and two make five– and Hannibal spreads his two hands out in between them. Will stares, dumbfounded.

“I never noticed,” he says. It comes out sounding small, confused, impossible. He had noticed everything about Hannibal. He had stood at his crime scenes and felt him, known him more intimately than he had ever known anyone. He had known Hannibal’s hands. On his hands, on his face, on a knife, he’d known those hands.

“What the fuck,” he adds.

“People generally see what they expect to see,” Hannibal says. “Present company excepted. With, perhaps, some exceptions to the exception.”

Will reaches out and holds Hannibal’s left hand in both of his. The pinkie finger– is that what it ought to be called, or is the pinkie still the one beside it, three in from the thumb?– is shorter than is absolutely proportional, but it’s otherwise well-formed. It’s simply… extra. Looking at it in the context of the whole hand, it’s easy to see how some people– who don’t see things for a living– miss it. The overall impression is just of a hand.

Hannibal has always been the exception. Of course he would insist on being Will’s exception in this, too.

“I deeply wished to have it removed, for a time, as a child,” Hannibal offers. “But by the time the opportunity presented itself, the desire had faded.”

“And you had begin to see the utility of it,” Will says, “for a– surgeon.”

Hannibal’s eyes sparkle. “Just so.”

Perhaps Hannibal is right. Will, too, had seen what he wanted to see: a friend, an enemy, a predator, prey, an equal. He had been so busy seeing he hadn’t even looked.

“Useful for other things, too, I bet,” Will says, and lies back.

“I think,” says Hannibal, “We were just on the verge of finding that out.”