Hannibal lies on his back, spent, aching, delirious with fading pleasure. Beside him, he hears Will’s groan, feels the mattress sink as Will returns to the bed and collapses beside him with the heavy weight of his own satisfaction.

They breathe together. Hannibal’s mind does not wander, in such situations, so much as it continues along all of the paths it was previously on. One part tracks the slow path of Will’s semen out of Hannibal’s hole and down the curve of his ass cheek to stain the bedsheet. Another part continues contemplating the chemical processes involved in converting the fresh-caught fish they’d eaten for dinner into energy for them to expend on sexual activity. Another tracks the subtle shifts in Will’s scent as he moves around on the bed, depending on which parts of his body are closest to Hannibal’s nose.

Right now, Will’s fingers are the closest to Hannibal’s nose. They smell of soap and the calcium in the tap water in their home, the application of which has not quite been sufficient to cover up that underneath they also still smell like the inside of Hannibal’s ass.

Will’s fingers are the closest to Hannibal’s nose, he recognizes, because Will’s entire hand is making its way towards his face. Will’s face looks placid and satisfied, no cues of anger visible on him when he pushes past Hannibal’s lips with four bunched fingers and slides his hand into Hannibal’s mouth.

Hannibal opens, stretching his jaw gamely to take as much of Will’s hand as Will wants to put in. It turns out Will wants to put in just enough to tickle the back of Hannibal’s throat with his fingertips, and despite himself, Hannibal gags violently.

All of the other threads of thought disappear like puffs of smoke, and Hannibal is left with only this one: purely concentrated on Will’s hand in his mouth, choking him. He pushes himself up on his elbows, some vestigial part of his brain trying to convince him that he’ll have better luck expelling the offending object from vertical than from horizontal. But Will’s other hand spreads firmly across his chest, applying pressure to force him back down, and he goes. Will rewards him by sliding his fingers away from Hannibal’s throat to just barely allow him a few gasps of air.

“That’s it,” says Will. He’s gentle but firm, and Hannibal has no desire to disobey, To disobey would mean snapping Will out of this glorious space where he takes without asking, without worrying. Hannibal loves seeing Will free of worry, and that in itself would be enough reason to hinge his jaw wider and let Will do what he wants.

Still, his resolve wavers when Will climbs overtop of him, straddling his chest to hold him in place. A primal fear grips Hannibal; the kind that would usually cause him to retreat to his memory palace. He has done so on many occasions, borne plenty of pain from the removed vantage point of his own territory. But Will lives inside Hannibal’s memory palace, now; or perhaps their minds have overlapped enough that the rooms Hannibal’s mind have fused into the rooms of Will’s. In any case, he only knows that he cannot escape from Will in the same way that he would escape any other hardship.

Will knows it. He draws his hand back, tracing his index finger along the inner line of Hannibal’s teeth, just where his bottom teeth meet his gums. Taunting. Daring Hannibal to bite down, like he would if Will were anyone else.

Hannibal can practically see it. It’s a myth that the human pinkie takes only as much force as a baby carrot to bite though, but Hannibal knows how much force it does take to bite off a finger, and he knows his jaws to be capable of it. The crunch of uncooked bones is unpleasant: it’s much more palatable to roast the larger bones and scoop out the marrow with a spoon, if you’re going to eat bones. They’re not impossible to eat, however. He would do it, and enjoy it, if anyone but Will had their fingers in his mouth.

Will grins down at him, now tracing around the edges of his tongue, pushing it back and forth. Clearly he can sense where Hannibal’s train of thought has led, because he looks thoughtful as he says, “You know, I heard about your little demonstration with Frederick Chilton’s lips. Revolting, but effective.” Hannibal grins, as much as he can around the hand in his mouth. “And as much as I’d love a practical demonstration, you’re going to let me do what I want, now. You’ll let me put my fingers, or my cock, or anything else I please, in your mouth, and you’ll take it quietly with no biting, and you’ll like it.”

Despite having recently had a spectacular orgasm, Hannibal’s cock jumps at that pronouncement. The fierce desire to bite down concentrates him even more on the sensation of Will’s fingers exploring his mouth, and he has to force himself to stay pliant, keep his mouth open, let Will do it.

“Very pretty,” says Will, and shoves his hand in deep again.

Hannibal doesn’t bite. He chokes and splutters and drools, and tears begin to leak from the corners of his eyes on the third or fourth time that Will pulls his hand back only to shove it deep again, but he doesn’t bite. By the time it is over, time has come unmoored from all of the signposts that Hannibal usually uses to keep it secured to his consciousness, and his throat feels raw.

Will is making soothing sounds, petting over Hannibal’s hair with the hand that had stayed mostly dry. He lies back down beside Hannibal, wraps his arms around him, buries his head in Hannibal’s chest. Will is shaking slightly, which it takes Hannibal a moment to realize must be due to an adrenaline come-down.

As soon as his mind begins to accept that he is now permitted to breathe normally, and allows his heaving gasps to calm somewhat, Hannibal reaches to curl his arms around Will’s trembling form. Will burrows into him, resting his cheek over Hannibal’s sternum so that he can feel the still-rapid pattern of Hannibal’s breathing.

“You didn’t truly think I would resist violently,” Hannibal says, partly a question and partly a statement.

Will huffs a laugh. “No,” he says, voice muffled. “You like what my fingers do to you too much to bite them off.” He’s silent and thoughtful for a moment, and then glances up with a smile tugging at his lips: “You know, my second thought when I heard about the lips was how revolting and unsanitary it is to consume raw, unrefrigerated human flesh sent through the mail. My first thought was that I wished I had been there to see it.”

“You’ve seen me consume human flesh countless times.”

“Mmm, but not like that.” Will giggles, sounding sex- and power-high. “Did you get sick from it? Was it worth it?”

“It was,” Hannibal allows, “Not the most pleasant evening of my existence, physically. But yes, the discomfort was calculated and the cost fair.”

“Wait.” Will pushes himself up on an elbow, his grin absolutely maniacal now. “Didn’t you say Alana took your toilet? How did you—”

Hannibal rolls on top of Will, suddenly and forcefully, pinning him down by the hips and shoulders. “I will tolerate a great many things from you,” he growls, “but this impertinence—

He’s cut off by Will’s fingers roughly filling his mouth again, and he’s taken over by the intense desire to take it, accept Will inside him, to show him how good he can be. And Hannibal knows he is lost, and he has never been happier.

***

It happens at intervals that are too random for Hannibal to draw a pattern from, which in itself is an impressive thing for Will to accomplish.

Hannibal will be cooking, or Will working in the garden or on the house, or they’ll be walking down a secluded cobblestone alley, when Hannibal finds himself suddenly choked. Mostly it’s Will’s hand: something it’s other things. A vibrator, if they’re close to the bedroom. The handle of a trowel or knife. A thick parsnip, fresh from the ground and still covered in dirt. A pencil, with the eraser end exploring his tongue and gums and teasing at the back of his throat. Any random, cast-aside object that Will can find, he puts in Hannibal’s mouth, and the message is clear. You’re so careful about what you put in your body, but you’ll let me get away with anything. Nothing is too common or too degrading to go inside you.

Hannibal hears it loud and clear, and it makes him whimper and shiver. He holds back his gag reflex as much as he can, trying to stay quiet and still the instant he realizes what is happening. Will praises him afterwards: just a kind smile when Hannibal takes a small object nicely, but he pulls Hannibal to him and strokes his hair and tear-stained cheeks for long minutes after a session where Will pushes him hard with something big, when Hannibal thinks he’s going to pass out from panic and lack of air.

They’re lying on the couch, Will stretched out with his feet on Hannibal’s lap. Hannibal has his sketchbook precariously balanced on Will’s shin, and is attempting to draw Will from above without disturbing him too much; the result is lacking, and he’s not particularly upset when Will shifts his feet and causes the pencil to slip.

He lifts his left foot up, towards Hannibal’s mouth, and Hannibal sets the sketchbook aside. Will can’t quite reach— one of them will need to shuffle closer— so Hannibal takes the opportunity to say, “Might I suggest that if you wish to gag me with your own flesh, perhaps your cock…?”

He sees the muscles of Will’s thighs clench slightly, but he otherwise doesn’t take the bait; just shakes his head tightly and waits to see what Hannibal will do. Hannibal shifts over closer to Will and turns to face him, resigned, so that Will can shove his foot directly into his mouth, which he does.

Any taste belonging to Will is fascinating, but some are more challenging than others. Will’s feet are, in fact, quite easy to enjoy the taste of: they are slightly dusty between the toes, but he had clearly washed his feet at some point during the day. Hannibal licks up the remnants of sweat and musk from the grooves with enthusiasm, and Will sighs and sinks back further into the cushions, eyes fixed on where Hannibal is sucking on is toes one by one.

“You’re just delaying the inevitable,” Will points out, and Hannibal hums against the ball of his foot, grasping Will’s ankle to lick down the sole from his big toe to his heel. He can feel Will struggling to stay still, to not pull away as Hannibal’s tongue tickles down the sensitive spot, and Hannibal enjoys the mirror of what he’ll shortly be doing.

Apparently Will is thoroughly convinced by the merits of toe-sucking, though, because he offers his other foot for servicing first; and only when Hannibal has licked over his sole and applied gentle pressure to each one of his toes does he start pushing forward, pressing more of his foot into Hannibal’s mouth.

Hannibal drops his hands from Will’s ankles, abandoning all pretense of control. Will goes slowly, wriggling his toes around inside Hannibal’s mouth and trying to find a comfortable seating to get further. The sides of the ball of the foot press into Hannibal’s lower jaw, and for a moment it seems like he won’t be able to get it any further. Then Hannibal takes as deep a breath as he can manage and consciously relaxes, trying to slacken his jaw downwards, and feels Will’s foot slip in further.

He’s good at this by now, can usually force down his reflexes and hold still. But then Will wiggles his toes in contentment— Hannibal can see the strands of his own saliva glistening between Will’s toes on the foot that rests on Hannibal’s lap, and he feels the edge of the toenail scrape against the back of his throat from the one that’s in his mouth. The muscles of his abdomen clench, his body doubling forward completely out of his conscious control. A wet gurgling sound emerges from his mouth, and then another equally embarrassing cough when he tries to get control of himself.

Will is just lying back staring at him, fascinated. Hannibal forces himself to relax, trying to convince his body that he doesn’t need air. If Will doesn’t want me to breathe, then I won’t, he insists to himself, and simply stops trying.

“Mmm.” Will’s voice is honeyed, and it flows into Hannibal and calms him. “That’s it. You’d take anything for me, wouldn’t you?” Hannibal nods, feeling his own tears collecting at his jawline.

“And you’d let me do it in front of anyone,” Will muses. “You were made for this. God, I’d love to do it in front of someone who really knows you.” He sounds wistful, and accompanies it by a slow slide out and then thrust back into Hannibal’s mouth with his foot. “Jack. Alana.Bedelia. They all think you own me, and they’re right. But imagine the looks on their faces as the realize that I also own you. I can do anything to you. Put anything in you.”

It shouldn’t send Hannibal over the edge. If anything, Will’s foot is sliding out slightly, easing off. But Hannibal is struck with the sudden thought of being on his knees, Will looming over him at some FBI crime scene, a vision out of what feels like a previous life. He imagines Will humiliating him, filling Hannibal’s mouth with his gloved fingers, or his bare cock or the tip of his shoe. Hannibal would take it, take it so quietly and obediently with his eyes fixed on Will’s face, while the entire damn FBI watched the Chesapeake Ripper submit. Will’s face— both the one in Hannibal’s imagination, and reclining on the couch in reality— is open and kind and grateful and amazed. He looks the way Hannibal felt when he watched Will take a bite out of a man’s cheek back on Muskrat Farm. And it’s Will’s amazement that finally breaks him. Hannibal gags for real, unable to stop his entire body convulsing and Will’s foot slipping out of his mouth as Hannibal tries not to catch his teeth on the flesh. No biting.

The next thing he knows he’s curled on his side, nausea gradually retreating as Will’s fingers trace gently down his spine. Hannibal realizes that he is babbling: apologies for his weakness tumbling out of his mouth without his conscious control.

He glances up at Will’s face, expecting to see him disdainful or pitiful. Will is empathetic, but he enjoys the opportunity to ignore his empathy, with Hannibal. He can borrow Hannibal’s cruelty and use it against him, feeling Hannibal’s pain and then intentionally, almost ostentatiously, refusing it. It delights Will to be unforgiving to him, so Hannibal expects that this failure— his first so far, with this particular genre of test— will incite Will to some new, delicious cruelty.

Instead, he finds Will’s eyes wide, shining, delighted. Will’s grip tightens on the fabric of his shirt, and Hannibal says quietly, “I’m sorry that I failed, Will. And of course, I would permit you— anything. Anything you desire of me, in front of anyone.”

Will is breathing hard, and it takes Hannibal a moment to realize the cause. He isn’t angry; he’s stunned at the sight of Hannibal apologizing.

Hannibal wants to smile at this realization of a new type of power Will has just handed him, but that would ruin it, so instead he simply says again, “I’m sorry,” and watches Will tongue poke out to wet his slightly parted lips.

He’s only apologizing for not being able to take Will’s foot shoved down his throat indefinitely. It’s nothing, in the grand scale of things that Will might possibly demand an apology for. And yet it is clear that hearing it has wrecked Will; his eyes dart all over Hannibal’s body, his hand shaking slightly, like he can barely decide that part of Hannibal to worship or abuse first.

“I’m sorry,” Hannibal breathes again. “I’ll make up for it. Please, Will, choke me with something else. Any time you want, in front of anyone. I promise I’ll take—“

He is cut off by Will slithering down to the carpet, pulling Hannibal a little to the side and pushing his legs such that his feet are on the floor. He yanks down on Hannibal’s pants and Hannibal lifts his hips to help, a little bleary, not quite yet in a state of mind to follow along with what’s happening. “I don’t need your permission,” Will scoffs, and then the soft warmth of his mouth engulfs Hannibal’s half-hard cock.

Fuck,” Hannibal hisses, slidng further down the couch, far enough that Will can slide his hands under Hannibal’s ass and grab fistfuls of his flesh, simultaneously squeezing painfully and lifting Hannibal’s hips up towards his mouth. Hannibal allows it, entirely consumed by the idea that he has had this effect on Will by failing. It’s an interesting paradox, and one he will have to explore further when he isn’t distracted by the slick slide of his flesh in Will’s talented mouth. Will loves it when he submits, when he proves he can take it. But Will also loves it when he fails, when he admits his inadequacy and offers himself up to the consequences.

Hannibal loves Will’s limits. He loves to find them, push at them, adjust them. Perhaps it is the case that Will loves Hannibal’s, too. Hannibal has tried for so long not to have limits, or at the very least to tuck them invisibly into the clean, elegant lines of his life. To find that Will has bumped up against one and found pleasure from it makes him feel like Will is farther inside him than he could ever get with a physical object.

Will slides a wet finger back, pushing his way into Hannibal’s hole, a small intrusion compared to all of the previous ones but still monumental every time Hannibal feels it. He is trapped between Will’s mouth and his finger, writhing, both in Will and with Will in him, and when he comes it’s so good that he forgets for a moment that he’s allowed to breathe.

Will is usually demanding of his own orgasm, pushing his cock into Hannibal’s mouth or hole or grabbing Hannibal’s hands and putting them where he wants them. So Hannibal doesn’t dare move at first, when Will simply holds him, ignoring his own erection, pressing Hannibal’s still-damp face into his chest.

Finally he tries slipping his fingertips down to the waistband of Will’s pants, and gets his hand shoved gently away. “‘s not important,” Will mutters. “Just let me…” he holds Hannibal tighter, and Hannibal relaxes into the grip which is rapidly becoming tight enough to be painful.

“You could, you know,” Hannibal says. “I wish we could see the people that you care about again, so that you would.”

“My god, you would love to show them all how much I own you, wouldn’t you,” Will mutters, and Hannibal wonders for a moment if his thoughts are really that transparent. Then Will continues, “I mean, you pretty much did, when you turned yourself in,” and Hannibal has to admit it is perfectly true. Kneeling on the cold ground, staring at Will’s shocked, horrified face— it had felt almost the same as having Will choke him.

“This is even better,” Hannibal specifies. “But yes. Both are acts of ownership. You own me, Will, completely.”

And Will says, “I know.”