Chapter 1

Hannibal snaps awake at the sound of his pager, and immediately wishes he’d kept the lights on. The fluorescent glowing hands of the clock in the on-call room show 3:20 in the morning; he’s been sleeping for almost an hour, and feels groggier than he had before he had slept at all. At least the lights would have prevented him from sleeping too deeply.

He reluctantly flicks them on, squinting so hard against the resulting brightness that his eyes are barely open at all. He fumbles and nearly drops the handset on the desk.

“This is Dr. Lecter returning a page,” he says into it, and endures silently as a junior ER resident stutters his way through an explanation. You’d think the kid had never been asked to say the word rectum out loud before, Hannibal thinks peevishly, and briefly entertains fantasies of the resident’s death before reluctantly admitting to himself that nervousness is not generally considered to be a breach of etiquette, even to him.

When he gets to the operating room, the patient is already on his side wearing a gown. He’s clearly been given some painkillers and muscle relaxants for the residents’ unsuccessful attempts at fishing the object inside him out manually, but not yet general anaesthesia for the surgery. Hannibal asks him, “What happened?”

The patient turns his head to glare at Hannibal, though his eyes quickly slip away from Hannibal’s own and focus on his newly gloved hands as he says, “Do you want me to tell you I was changing for bed and just happened to slip and fall ass-first onto a cucumber?”

It would be an appallingly rude thing to say if it were sarcastic, but it’s not. The patient actually sounds like he’s asking, as if an obvious lie could possibly do anything to salvage the dignity of the entire situation. Mostly he just sounds tired, which is a feeling Hannibal could empathize with, if he were able to muster any empathy at all for idiots who put vegetables in their anuses.

He can see in the small window of the operating room two nurses washing up, and nods to the anesthesiologist fussing in the corner. He keeps his eyes on the patient, since staring seems to make him uncomfortable, which Hannibal enjoys.

“No,” says Hannibal. “I prefer to see the truth of humanity. For all of our shortcomings.”

“This is what’s called a shortcoming in your world, huh,” mutters the patient, holding out his hand to the anesthesiologist. “Jesus. You should be a psychiatrist. At least then you won’t be stuck doing vegetable extractions at three in the morning.”

Hannibal doesn’t really want to know the patient’s name. He’ll forget it by the time his shift is over, anyway, so he has no idea what comes over him when he glances down at the chart filled in by the junior resident that identifies the patient as WILLIAM GRAHAM, 26 YOM, DX: FB RECTUM.

William counts down from ten and only gets to six before slipping away, as if he’d been looking forward to leaving consciousness behind. Hannibal watches the nurses prepare his limp body, the patient’s face softer and somehow more beautiful when inanimate. Hannibal distracts himself from somewhat boorish thoughts about a patient by contemplating recipes for the liver waiting in his refrigerator. He does his job, and immediately forgets William Graham.

***

“How do you see me?” Will asks.

I don’t, not quite yet, would be the entire answer. It’s why Hannibal is here, in a tiny motel room smelling of old cigarette smoke, watching Will Graham eat. Instead he goes with another truth. “The mongoose I want under the house when the snake slithers by,” he says. “Finish your breakfast.”

Will wrinkles his nose, an oddly charming gesture. The expression of a man used to enormous horrors encountering a small annoyance. He takes another bite. He is still chewing– rude— when he says, “So we’re just not going to talk about it, then?”

The room in the memory palace that is currently under construction, devoted to views and memories of this suddenly fascinating man, gains a tiny bit of clarity. Hannibal feels a warm glow in his belly that could be just his usual reaction to watching other people eat his cooking, but feels somehow different. “We can talk about anything you like,” he says.

Will has an eyeroll that would look better placed on a petulant teenager than an FBI agent. He jabs his fork in Hannibal’s direction. “Christ. See, this is exactly why I said you should become a psychiatrist. You’re welcome, by the way, for the career advice.”

Hannibal is working very hard to keep the corners of his mouth from twitching in amusement. He had spent most of the previous evening trying to remember as much as he could about Will. It’s a pitiful haul of memories, all in all. He does have a note in his journal mentioning a male patient with a cucumber inserted anally, removed via laparotomy. The incident had been eclipsed in his mind several hours later by a stabbing victim– an elementary school math teacher, whose husband Hannibal had enjoyed in sausage the next week. Now, sitting opposite Will as the sunlight filters in through the curtains, he finds it difficult to believe that he could have met this man nearly a decade ago and not have assigned any importance to the occasion at all. After all, he had been thinking about doing a second residency in psychiatry anyway. It’s not like it was Will’s idea. At least, Hannibal is fairly sure he’d been thinking about it before. He must have been.

“How did the scar heal?” he asks.

Will grins, like it’s somehow a triumph for him to have convinced Hannibal to admit that they’d met before, on the occasion that Hannibal had fished a vegetable out of his colon through his stomach. “Well, I tell sexual partners that I had an appendectomy done by a drunk.”

Hannibal leans back slightly in the creaky wooden chair. “Why is that?” he asks. “Perhaps honesty is the best policy. The vulnerability involved in sharing your cucumber incident with a partner could lead to a frank discussion of sexual desires.”

Will tilts his head, staring at the glass container in front of him as he scrapes his fork around it, gathering the last remnants of egg. He’s clearly uncomfortable, but Hannibal suspects that Will is someone who has had to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s fascinating.

“So you’re saying that if I told people about the time I completely failed to pleasure myself anally, they might take pity and do it for me?”

“Do you assume the sole motivation would be pity, Will?” Hannibal asks.

“You’re assuming I even want that,” says Will. He’s standing up, and for a moment Hannibal thinks the conversation has gone too far for him, but it’s just to rinse the glass container in the bathroom sink, and hand it back to Hannibal. “Thank you,” he adds.

“Do you?”

Will shrugs, and starts rooting around through a suitcase. “I haven’t tried anything– well, like that, since the last time we met. Didn’t exactly leave a positive impression on my sexual psyche, for some reason.” He straightens up with an armful of clothing. “I’m going to get dressed. We have a tedious day ahead of us, I’m afraid. The real meat of detective work is boring as shit–” Will starts heading towards the bathroom– “which is why I generally don’t do much of it.” The bathroom door closes behind him, but it’s so flimsy that Hannibal can hear the whisper of fabric sliding across his skin as he changes.

Hannibal suspects nothing in the world could be boring with Will Graham by his side.

***

The first time Will shows up at Hannibal’s house unannounced is not exactly what Hannibal had imagined.

Hannibal is rarely surprised, so he enjoys it while it lasts. Will smells of night sweat and dust and dog hair, and he accepts a cup of strong coffee automatically. He’s not immediately receptive to Hannibal’s pointing out the ways in which Jack Crawford is harming him, but he does seem to cede the point. As if he can accept the idea of being harmed, and still allow it to continue happening. It is simultaneously infuriating and intoxicating.

“Will you stay for breakfast?” Hannibal asks, and Will is already moving towards the island, his body betraying his intention. “If it’s not too much trouble,” he says. “Though, if you keep feeding me breakfast, I’m going to get spoiled.

“I think,” says Hannibal, considering a moment before pulling out eggs and bread for French toast, “You have a long way to go from your current state to ‘spoiled.’ And if you do manage to achieve it, perhaps I would prefer you that way.”

He allows himself a tiny flick of his eyes over to where Will is now sitting, trying to evaluate his reaction to the insinuation that Hannibal’s preference matters. His stomach lurches when he realizes Will is looking back at him, and he has a tiny, soft smile on his face. He looks relaxed.Entirely different from the agitation he’d shown when he turned up on Hannibal’s doorstep that morning.

So it’s that small smile that Hannibal holds firmly in his mind, captures in amber to preserve forever in the Will Graham room of his memory palace, after the meal is finished, and Will is stirring as if he’s about to make his excuses and drive to work for the day.

Hannibal inclines his head. “Before you go,” he says, “I bought you a gift.”

Will’s pink tongue darts out to wet his lips. “A gift,” he repeats. “You really are trying to spoil me.” It’s permission, so Hannibal just motions for him to stay put and ascends the staircase to the bedroom.

He’s had the thing sitting, gift-wrapped and ready to go, in the top dresser drawer for almost a week. He’d been indecisive about buying it, and then indecisive about giving it to Will, in a way that is unusual for him. It feels good to have made the decision now, and the package feels solid and heavy in his hand.

Well, it is a high-quality item.

Will takes the box and rattles it around a bit, like a kid on Christmas morning trying to guess his present before tearing it open. “What is it?” he asks.

Hannibal hesitates for only a moment, wondering if he should redirect the question, allow Will to find out on his own time. But then, Hannibal will not be able to see his face as he opens the box for the first time alone in his room. Better to show him honesty now.

“An anal vibrator,” he says. “A toy with a flared base, such that it cannot get lost inside you.”

An extraordinary expression passes over Will’s face, halfway between disbelief and the stifled urge to burst into hysterical laughter. He seems like hes about to start speaking twice before finally settling on, “Bit of an inappropriate gift for a patient, isn’t it, Dr. Lecter?”

“Not at all,” says Hannibal. “Firstly, if I were to give a professional opinion, I would remind you that you specifically mentioned that the Cucumber Incident has had an impact on your sexual psyche. Therefore, a tool intended to aid in experiencing anal pleasure successfully is an entirely appropriate psychological intervention. But secondly, and more importantly, I have not been asked to give a professional opinion, because you are not my patient.”

Will nods slowly. The corners of his mouth are twitching. “So it’s merely a friendly gift of an anal vibrator.”

“It is,” says Hannibal, “Whatever kind of gift you wish it to be.”

Chapter 2

Chapter Notes

Okay, this thing was supposed to be two chapters but there’s actually one more, as you can see đŸ˜›

Will is teaching a class at the fucking FBI and he has a fucking anal vibrator in his bag.

He can’t stop fucking thinking about it. He could have left it in the car, he supposes, and he was going to, but at the exact moment that he’d been about to lock the car he’d been struck with a vision of it being broken into, which is ridiculous because nobody breaks into ancient beaters right outside of the FBI, but anyway Will had been completely unable to get the idea of some faceless (thankfully– too many faces to choose from, Will doesn’t want to see any more fucking faces of criminals in his head) robber grabbing it out of his car and then– and then what? Will has no idea. He’s going crazy. The coffee with Hannibal had helped, in the strange way that Hannibal’s presence always does, but now Will is back to feeling completely unhinged.

And then there’s Jack, and then there’s angels with wings made of flesh and blood dripping down their ribs and into their crevasses and a hallucination in a barn and Jack Crawford manipulating him into staying on, Will knows that Hannibal is right, it’s manipulation, but Will is going to let it happen anyway. By the time he gets home, he is a bone-deep kind of tired and vaguely nauseous, and he’s completely forgotten about the package.

As Will’s luck would have it, he remembers just as he’s climbing into bed and preparing for another long night of shaking and sweating and seeing things that aren’t there. And as soon as he remembers he can’t put it out of his mind.

Will isn’t great at avoiding unpleasant thoughts. It’s not out of any particular feat of willpower or self-mastery that, until Hannibal had suddenly reappeared in his life, Will had been able to more or less forget about the time that he’d been feeling lonely and desperate in his tiny first apartment, just after he’d started as a lab grunt at the FBI, and decided for some reason that the only solution to his existential dread was to masturbate with a vegetable. His late-night visit to the ER had peen painful and embarrassing and unpleasant, for sure, but a significant portion of Will’s working life has also been painful and embarrassing and unpleasant. If Will were to build a memory palace, the night he has now followed Hannibal’s lead in thinking of as the Cucumber Incident would be only one in a very large, crowded room full of memories he’d rather not have.

So of course, because Will Graham’s life is absolute shit, this is the night he lies awake and thinks about it.

He thinks about how he’d had a hand on his cock and was achingly, desperately hard as he’d stumbled into the grimy kitchen and picked out the cucumber, still wrapped in grocery-store plastic wrap, from the refrigerator. How he’d lubed it up with the cheap slick he used to buy from the skeezy corner store and pressed it against his ass, lying on his side and hiking one knee up in the air to spread his hole as much as possible, the awkward angle making his lower back twinge. How it had slipped in easily, almost accidentally, the very tip of the vegetable small and tapered, but how the thing quickly swelled up to at least the width of an average erect cock and he’d had to bear down in a way that felt absolutely obscene to push it in. And then finally how it had felt so fucking good, shockingly good, it was completely unfair how good it felt and how he’d never known that his body could feel like this, out of his conscious control with insane pleasure, eventually gripping the far end of the cucumber in his entire fist as he fucked himself on it as hard as he possibly could, not enough not enough not enough thrusting harder and harder until–

–well.

Fuck. Will is curled in his bed in the fetal position, his cock hard and his head pounding. The dogs are keeping their distance, apparently with some sort of canine instinct that this is a private moment. Just the thought of putting anything in his ass makes him feel nauseous with fear. He knows, logically, that the vibrator Hannibal bought for him (“the vibrator Hannibal bought for him,” there’s an idea that is doing nothing to deflate his irritating erection) isn’t going to get stuck inside him. It’s designed for anal play, probably extremely expensive, and completely safe. That doesn’t do anything for the instinctual terror rushing through him at the idea, though. He wishes he’d just thrown the thing out, preferably in a city dumpster that would be emptied every evening. That way, he simply wouldn’t have the option.

He does have the option, though, and it’s like a compulsion, like something outside of his own head is yelling at him that who is he kidding, there is no way he’s going to be able to get to sleep tonight without using it. When he finally rolls out of bed and stumbles towards where he’d dropped his bag, it’s with the same resignation with which he approaches a crime scene that he knows is going to take days to excise from his skull enough to think clearly again.

Will’s head is buzzing. He wonders if he’s going to vomit. He pulls the box out of its gift-wrapping– a tasteful navy blue– and opens the cardboard underneat to reveal a black silicone thing that, with the bluntly pointed tip for easy insertion and the wide flaring on the other end to prevent it from getting lost, looks more like a sword than anything intended for pleasure.

He winces, holds it gingerly by the handle with the on/off button on it, and quickly brings it back to the bed with him. It occurs to him that he should probably wash it before use, but then he’d have to go to the bathroom and turn on the light and stare at his own wide dumb terrified eyes in the mirror as he spread soap over the length and girth of the toy that he was planning on shoving into his own ass and– no. Just, no. There probably isn’t any sort of chemical still clinging to it that’s going to harm him, anyway. It’ll be fine.

Will doesn’t feel fine. The light is off, and it’s pitch-black in the room save for the feeble blue glow of the numbers on the clock. He worms his way back under the covers– being exposed to the room feels like too much, somehow– and pumps a dollop of lube directly onto the tip of the vibrator. He spreads it around with the tips of his fingers perfunctorily, like if he can avoid touching the thing at all if he tries really hard.

He lies down on his side and grits his teeth. He can feel his own hand shaking as he reaches behind himself and it’s ridiculous, it’s absolutely absurd that a man who thinks about killing for a living is reduced to this kind of bone-shaking terror by the prospect of having his anus breached by a little chunk of silicone. He’s just glad Hannibal isn’t here to see it. Will wonders if this is what he intended. If Hannibal thought Will would be happy about the prospect of trying this again, or if he was always planning on making him wade through the psychological scar tissue he’d developed from their very first meeting.

The tip of the vibrator makes contact with his skin, and it’s cold. It’s also nowhere near its target, and Will wonders if whatever is making him hallucinate and lose time is also fucking with his proprioception to the extent that he’s not even going to be able to find his own asshole.

He slides the slimy tip of it around a bit, though, and it catches on puckered skin. Will’s entire body shudders with the feeling. He can feel the muscles of his entrance spasming, as if they’re getting ready to push the intrusion out, so he doesn’t bother drawing out his own dread; he just pushes, and the vibrator is tapered and slick enough that it slides in.

He stops, grits his teeth. The very tip of the thing is in, and there’s no two ways about it– it just feels like shitting. Will knows he only has to push it a little farther in and it’ll find his prostate and theoretically feel good, but the fear in his stomach is coiling tighter instead of loosening. It feels like his ass is getting tighter along with it, like it couldn’t possibly take anything inside it, but he tells himself he has to. Hannibal have him this fucking vibrator and damned if Will is going to fail at this, of all things.

So Will takes a deep breath, and presses the button on the end of the hilt at the exact same time as he presses in.

It feels like the full-body equivalent of a gag; involuntary, momentarily terrifying. All he knows is everything is clenching and then the vibrator is buzzing away against the sheets behind him like a deranged swarm of bees, and his rectum is mercifully empty. The ghost sensation of how that damned cucumber felt as his body had swallowed the edge of it that he was supposed to be holding subsides gradually.

“Fuck,” Will mutters into the pillowcase. He grabs for the vibrator and presses the button again to turn it off. He throws it onto the floor. He hopes the dogs will know to avoid it. Or hell, maybe they’ll chew it to bits, and Will will have to tell Hannibal that the dogs ate his sexually therapautic homework. The thump of his heart gradually subsides, from a full-on panic attack to more standard nighttime fear. “Fuck,” he says again into the darkness.

***

“I tried your gift,” Will says. They’re sitting in front of the fire in Hannibal’s sitting-room, both nursing small quantities of Scotch. Will has to drive home soon, but he puts that out of his mind. He’s actually relatively comfortable, fed and plied with wine after a day of teaching where nobody had burst into his classroom to drag him away to a crime scene. So he figures it’s time to make himself less comfortable; it’s better than avoiding the subject forever.

“How did it go?” Hannibal is staring at the fireplace, and the way his head is tilted allows Will to focus on the way the flame flickers reflected in his dark irises. It’s nice, looking at someone’s eyes without them looking back.

“I…” Will thinks for a moment about how to characterize the experience, and decides to go with direct. Hannibal seems to like him that way. “Had a panic attack,” he says. He takes a sip of the smooth burning liquid.

Hannibal doesn’t turn to look at him. Will doesn’t get the sense that he’s particularly surprised, either. “You have a traumatic memory associated with anal stimulation,” he says.

Will scoffs. “That’s a bit extreme. By that measure, I have very few memories that aren’t traumatic.”

A normal conversational partner would laugh, let it go, accept the implied rejection of the label. Will realizes with a cold splash of fear that he’s slipped up, because this is by no means a normal conversation. Hannibal doesn’t laugh. He merely tilts his head, as if curious. “Would you like to discuss some of those other memories in our sessions, Will?”

No.” Will rubs his hands down his face. It almost makes it worse that he’s actually not trying to conceal anything. There’s nothing, no awful incident from his young life that stands out enough to want to talk about it with Hannibal. Will’s childhood was fine. He just doesn’t think the cucumber was that bad, in context. After all, it was his own damn fault. How much can you really claim to be traumatized by something you did to yourself?

“Tell me about this panic attack,” comes Hannibal’s voice, cutting through his frustration.

Will grimaces. He’s used to telling Hannibal about his worst moments by now, though. It feels good, in a strange way. Maybe that’s how therapy was supposed to feel, all along. “I… managed to get it in a little,” he says. “But it wasn’t pleasurable. And eventually my body just kind of pushed it out. It felt awful. And it was worse because… I remembered how it had felt. The first time. Before.” He swallows. “I remember thinking, with the cucumber, that it was the best thing I’d ever felt, and I… lost control, and yesterday, I just couldn’t stop thinking about the feeling of the cucumber disappearing inside me. Like my body was hungry for it. And how when it happened I was horrified, of course, but…”

Will stares into the fire. He hadn’t thought about this bit, hadn’t remembered it until this moment, but now he’s certain of the memory. “But?” prompts Hannibal.

“I came,” mutters Will. “I was so far gone that I came even as I realized that I was completely fucked and would probably have to go to the hospital, because it was so goddamn good.”

It feels like baring his entire self to Hannibal, so of course Hannibal has to dismiss it. “I know,” he says easily. “I smelled it on you as I entered the operating room.”

“Great,” says Will dully. He drains his glass, sets it down on a side table. “Anyway. I freaked out. I couldn’t do it.”

“Were you subconsciously afraid that the vibrator would get lost?” asks Hannibal, and now he does turn, and meets Will’s eyes. He looks kind, and Will can’t tell if that makes it better or worse. He feels comforted by this conversation to a degree that this probably unacceptable.

“I guess,” he says. “A little. It was… the entire situation. The position, the feeling of being completely in my own hands, knowing that I could just let go and enjoy it but being to afraid to. It all fed into itself.”

Hannibal places his own glass on the table in between them. Will realizes he’s been holding Hannibal’s gaze for a long time, probably more than is usual even by the standards of people who do regularly make eye contact.

“Many experiences are situational,” Hannibal observes. “Adjust just a few variables, and you change the outcome. Evidently, merely the addition of a safety feature to the object of penetration was not a sufficient adjustment.”

Will’s breath catches. He’s fairly sure he isn’t hallucinating the way Hannibal is faintly glowing in the firelight, his cheeks flushed, leaning in towards Will. His hallucinations are rarely so pleasant.

“What other variables would you suggests adjusting, Doctor?” he asks, and is gratified to hear that his voice isn’t as raspy as he feared.

Hannibal smiles, and Will isn’t sure he’s ever seen him smile like that before, wider than his lips usually go and a bit bashful. “I think it’s fairly clear, Will, that while any further suggestions I make may prove in time to have therapeutic value, I am not making them as your doctor.”

“You’re making them as my friend.”

Hannibal’s tongue darts out of his mouth to wet his lips, quickly enough to nearly miss it. “If you would allow a friend to try his best to bring you pleasure,” Hannibal says, “Then yes, as your friend. Otherwise, another label may be required.”

Chapter 3

Will is pretty sure he isn’t losing time, or at least not in the way that terrifies him. But he’s still not entirely certain what happened in the moments in between sipping Scotch in Hannibal’s sitting room, and being spread out on Hannibal’s bed on top of sheets that are so soft and clean that they feel almost velvety against his skin. And spread out is exactly the term; Hannibal had pulled Will’s clothes off of him with a gentle efficiency, then pushed him back onto the bed and smoothed a big, warm hand over each one of Will’s limbs, positioning them exactly as he liked. Will vaguely recalls having said yes at some point, must have; but now everything seems to be happening entirely on Hannibal’s schedule and according to Hannibal’s plan, which suits Will just fine. The previous night’s swirling terror, the compulsive voice telling him that he had to do it or be stuck forever in limbo wondering what would happen, is gone. Will doesn’t have to do anything, because Hannibal seems to be intent on doing it all.

He lies back and allows Hannibal to climb onto the bed between his knees. Hannibal is still clothed, though only in his shirtsleeves. Which should be horrifyingly awkward, but it feels fine, because Hannibal is looking at him like Will is a miracle, and Will has no idea what he did to be looked at like that but apparently at least part of it had to do with getting a vegetable lost in his ass. Hannibal is running his hand worshipfully down Will’s belly and playing his fingers over the scar like the scar is something special, something beautiful, and then he lowers his head to Will’s stomach and licks it.

Will gasps. He’s barely so much as touched the scar before, preferring to avoid it as much as possible. So he’d never realized that it’s sensitive, that somehow the puckered, damaged tissue pulls at nerves deep below it. He groans, and realizes that he’s hard and his cock is pushing up into the fabric covering Hannibal’s chest.

“Fuck,” he pants as Hannibal’s lips momentarily leave his skin, and he pulls his head up to look at Will. “Fuck. Hannibal, that feels amazing.” He doesn’t want to be trying to profile Hannibal right now, isn’t doing it consciously, but it’s too obvious to ignore: “Do you get off on the fact that you put that on me?”

Hannibal lowers his head back to the scar and sucks instead of answering, which is both a very definite answer in the affirmative and an extremely effective distraction. Will keens. He can’t help it, he’s never felt anything like it before; like Hannibal is already inside him, even though he’s nowhere close. Like he can reach in and rearrange Will’s insides, and it could only ever bring Will pleasure.

Will has no idea how long it goes on like that, Hannibal’s mouth licking and sucking and nipping at the scar. He’s vaguely aware at some point that Hannibal reaches his hands up to pinch at Will’s nipples, and it’s both so much more than before and not actually any more overwhelming, because Will was already overwhelmed by the entire situation. He thinks he would probably let Hannibal do anything, in this moment, and Will would get off on it. Hannibal could take a knife and cut open the belly wound that he’d made in his operating room, and Will would scream for more.

He wonders if he could share that thought with Hannibal. Will has always had thoughts that he deemed not tasty enough to share with others, especially anyone who was willing to have sex with him. You aren’t supposed to tell one-night stands about the blood and gore in your head any more than you’re supposed to tell them about the cucumber you once got stuck in your colon. But Hannibal already knows about the latter, and Will is beginning to suspect that he might lap up the former just as enthusiastically as he’s currently sucking on the scar.

When Hannibal’s hand lands on the soft inside of his thigh, it’s firm. He doesn’t want to spook Will by teasing him on his hand’s way to its destination, and Will can’t find the words to reassure him that he won’t, Will is too far gone already to be spooked. Hannibal’s fingers drag over his skin, up his thigh, around his balls, down over his perineum to rub over the tight pucker of his asshole.

Will spreads his legs, only half-consciously. Hannibal’s fingers are firm but dry, and the lack of lubricant makes Will relatively sure he isn’t about to be penetrated quite yet, so he focuses on what Hannibal is doing: running his thumb down over Will’s hole, over and over, like petting an animal that only likes to be stroked in one direction. Every time, the shivers of sensation intensify, build up in him to imply more.

Will bites his lip. He tilts his hips up, and it occurs to him as he does so that he’s actually hoping Hannibal’s thumb will slip inside. he doesn’t consciously want it dry, but he’s drawn to the way the digit catches ever so slightly on his entrance every time it passes over. Teasing.

He wants to tell Hannibal to stop teasing. He feels a first flutter of nerves in his belly at the thought of asking, but it’s not the blind terror of the previous night. If anything, it’s an interesting kind of fear; the kind that tells you you’re about to do something entirely new.

Because this is new. The way Will’s entire body is on fire from Hannibal’s mouth and fingers and presence bears no resemblance whatsoever to Will’s fumbling around to shove objects into his own ass. If anything, the fact that Hannibal is going to put something (a toy? His fingers? His cock?) inside of Will is merely incidental to the scene: the penetration is the medium, not the message, and the gap between the two is cavernous. Will would let Hannibal devour him. To be penetrated by him is minuscule.

So he grits out “Hannibal, put something inside of me right now,” and Hannibal glances up with the pad of his thumb right over Will’s entrance and a strand of sandy blond hair falling in his eye, a strangely vulnerable sight.

“Please,” Will adds, and the pressure of the thumb increases for just a moment and then disappears as Hannibal reaches into a drawer beside the bed and coats his fingers in lube.

Will just stares as Hannibal smears the gel over his fingers, all ten of them, which seems utterly bizarre to Will. But apparently Hannibal can’t imagine needing an of them for anything else in the immediate future. Those fingers have already been inside him, Will contemplates, and then says, “How far inside me did you put your hands, when you cut me open?”

Hannibal’s eyes slam shut with a ferocity that seems almost shocked, and Will couldn’t possibly miss the way Hannibal’s hips thrust forward into thin air, his erection visibly straining against the inside of his pants.

“What did my skin feel like as it parted under the scalpel?” Will continues, which should feel wrong. He’s clearly so aroused as to be actually delirious, to say this out loud. Will would never say this to a sexual partner; he’s not the kind of person who lets himself go like that, especially not when what’s on the inside of him is so ugly– but he wants to, god he wants it, and Hannibal is groaning at it. Will will maybe think later about the fact that Hannibal is looking at him like the thought of Will’s skin under his scalpel is the most arousing thing he’s ever heard, even as his index finger breaches Will’s ass.

Will wriggles. It feels completely different, and he’s almost angry at the extent to which Hannibal was right: experiences can be adjusted. “Could you smell my blood?” Will hisses, almost in retaliation, anything to make Hannibal feel even a fraction of the sensation Will is feeling right now.

Will,” Hannibal sighs, rapturous, and Will realizes that Hannibal is reacting to his words like Will is inside of him. The idea of Will’s blood and guts is what’s making Hannibal’s fingers stutter as he tries to start sliding them in and out of Will, and Will buck his hips up because oh god he needs more of that but simultaneously wants Hannibal to lose control, just as he is. If he has to show Hannibal what happens, if he’s going to dare return to the state of utter ecstasy that he’d been in just before the cucumber had slipped inside him, then he damn well wants Hannibal to be there too.

“You’re already been inside me with your knife and your hands,” Will pants, and it feels like the last traces of conscious thought that he’s going to be capable of for a long time. “Put your cock in me too. See if it feels any different.”

Hannibal’s hand tenses, and his fingers curl and drag over Will’s prostate, and Will moans. It probably sounds like he’s in pain, and he very nearly is; the pure need for more is almost agony.

Hannibal pulls the two fingers that had made their way inside of Will’s ass out. Will watches as if in slow-motion as he pulls his clothes off, his hands entirely covered in lube and probably smelling like ass and Hannibal is touching his clean white shirt with the fingers that had just been inside of Will. It’s astounding, filthy, almost makes Will want to protest that Hannibal can’t possibly want that, but apparently he does. His clothes are in a heap on the ground, and Hannibal is spreading even more lube over his already-soaked hands. He kneels up in between Will’s legs, looking statuesque, like he could be carved in marble with his cock jutting forward as his hands slicked lube over it in preparation. Will registers, as if from very far away, that Hannibal had put something inside of him and then taken it out. He should find that reassuring, but the fear of losing a toy inside him seems so far away that his panic attack with the vibrator only strikes him as utterly irrelevant, and perhaps vaguely comical.

All the fear in the world couldn’t compare to the anticipation of watching Hannibal guide his cock towards Will’s hole and knowing he’s going to be filled up.

The very tip presses against his opening and it’s warm, blood humming away beneath the surface. He can feel it against the skin of his hole, he can nearly feel it sympathetically in his own cock, how hard Hannibal is. How bloodthirsty. Will sets that thought aside. He doesn’t know where it came from and he doesn’t want to know.

“Bear down now, Will,” says Hannibal gently, which should be awful but instead reminds him somehow, perversely, of the way Hannibal had said “what happened?” in the OR like he didn’t fucking know, and Will thinks about how young and how tired Hannibal had looked that night. Hannibal had gotten to see the very worst of Will, his loneliness and idiocy and all his worst impulses combined into a situation so uniquely embarrassing it feels like it could only possibly happen to Will Graham, even though he knows objectively that’s probably not true. But what Will had gotten to see was a prototype, a man under construction, and Will had helped build him.

So he clenches his abdominal muscles and bears down, and feels his hole open just enough for the hot slippery tip of Hannibal’s cock to catch and slide inside of him with a jerk of Hannibal’s hips.

This, thinks Will. This is what I was missing all this time. Oh, my god.

Hannibal doesn’t bother going slowly. He knows, after all, the length and girth that Will’s insides are apparently capable of taking, so he slides in with one deep thrust. For a single, white-hot instant it feels like Will is being torn open, and God help him when the sensation resolves into something stretched but whole, unharmed, Will is nearly regretful that Hannibal hadn’t hurt him. At least not yet.

“Go,” he pants. He’s not capable of anything else: “Go, go, Hannibal please move.” He needs to feel the slide of hot skin on his insides, buries his face in the sweaty hollow in between Hannibal’s neck and shoulder.

“So needy,” Hannibal murmurs, but his voice is breathy. Will feels something close to triumph, because Hannibal is here with him, desperately trying to hold on to his composure and failing. Then all he feels is the jolt of pleasure when Hannibal does: pulls back until Will can feel the head of his cock teasing Will’s sensitive entrance, then slamming back in.

Will yelps, even as his body takes over. He snaps his hips up, meeting Hannibal’s thrust and grinding them together at the end of the thrust. It’s not enough, it could never be enough, but Hannibal is all over him and around him and it feels safe. Will can take what he wants, he can reach for more and more and more and Hannibal can give it to him, and no matter how much he demands, he can never take it all.

Hannibal belongs to himself so fully that Will could never subsume him. He could never show too much of himself. He could never scare Hannibal away. Will has no idea how he knows this, why the sudden realization presents itself as he clings to Hannibal and snaps his hips over and over, but it does. Will knows himself well enough to know when he’s right about something, and he’s right about this.

“I’m yours,” he says, and his voice is both too soft and sounds punched out of him, but Hannibal hears him. “I’m yours, Hannibal, anything you want from me, you can have.”

“Foolish,” growls Hannibal, and it feels like vindication. An admission of something; something that Will might well spend the rest of his life exploring. He wants to. Will doesn’t give a shit about any of the rest of it, Jack or the FBI or anything, as long as he can have Hannibal.

No,” says Will, and it nearly unseats Hannibal’s cock inside of him to flip them over, but he manages it anyway, because this is important. “No, Hannibal. I mean it. Whatever you think I don’t mean, whatever you think I haven’t considered, I promise you, that is exactly what I want from you.”

Hannibal’s eyes close, and Will grinds down into him like he could force even more of Hannibal’s body inside of him if he just tries hard enough. He feels the weird, slick warmth of Hannibal’s orgasm somewhere so deep it feels like his belly; and he doesn’t care at all if Hannibal is too overstimulated to enjoy it as Will rocks back and forth fiercely on his cock even as it begins to soften. When he comes, it feels less like completion and more like beginning. Like something has opened in him that he was afraid to even look at for so long, and now he wants to live inside of it.

He lies down, his day-old stubble pressing into Hannibal’s chest hair, and feels Hannibal’s cock slipping out of him, inch by inch. It’s captivating, and complimented by the feel of Hannibal’s nails scratching up and down his back. He imagines the red lines being drawn into him, and wishes they were darker and more painful.

“I’ve never felt this good before,” says Will, because it’s the truth.

He feels Hannibal’s breath catch in his chest before he hears it in his voice. “Did you mean what you said?” he asks. His cock finally slips out of Will’s body, the feeling overwhelmingly weird for a moment, but not unpleasant.

Will thinks back. All of the moments blend together for him, thoughts and spoken syllables no longer distinct. “About wanting you to cut the scar open again?” he asks.

Hannibal has many shades and flavours of silence in his repertoire, and uses all of them in conversation. This is a new type of silence, though; Hannibal is momentarily stunned.

“Oh,” breathes Will. he can’t bring himself to feel contrite or embarrassed, not with the way Hannibal is holding him and breathing softly into his hair like he’s the most precious thing on earth. “That was just in my head.”

The silence stretches out again, and this time Will has no idea what kind of silence it is. He blinks, and now Will’s stunned— at the sensation of being in the midst of an emotion that he has no idea how to categorize. Possibly for the first time in his life.

Finally, Hannibal’s chest rises enough to draw in breath for speech, and he whispers, “You said, anything I want from you.”

“‘Course I meant it.” It’s the easiest permission Will’s given in his life.

Will should be apprehensive. He should think for a moment about what he’s just done; he should construct a more thorough profile in his mind of the man he’s just handed himself over to. He doesn’t. He’s placed himself in Hannibal’s hands before, after all, and it turned out fine.

Will just sighs contentedly and allows Hannibal’s fingers to sneak between them, playing over the scar on his belly like a promise.