AN-Rêverie is by Debussy. I own nothing.rev·er·ie
noun: reverie; plural noun: reveries 1.
a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream.
It took Will Graham seeing his coffee cup on the white marble kitchen counter, out of place and so blatantly his, to realize that he was in a relationship with Hannibal Lecter.
Will glared at the coffee cup, who was for the most part an innocent bystander and not to blame for Will's selective inattentiveness to his own life. As for the rest, it was truly a hideous mug, a gag gift from Price that the man probably picked up at some flea market. It was just that tacky, featuring romping puppies against a bright yellow flowered background. It certainly didn't belong in Hannibal's kitchen, but there it was, plain as day and twice as ugly. Will noted he was beginning to lose track of the real issue at hand.
"Maybe…we're not…" Will tried to tell himself as he flipped through his memory's rolodex for any sort of back up to this notion. It was looking bleak though. Hannibal was in there a lot, even more so after the doctor had diagnosed Will's encephalitis pretty much through scent alone. Alana was there to, but she had waned off during his treatment. She had tried, but the poor woman had nothing on Hannibal's culinary skills, impeccable sense of timing, or persistence.
Knowing how much Will hated hospitals and despite his busy schedule, the doctor had made time and effort to show up every single day with food in hand and always having enough left afterwards to cover the other meals he couldn't be present for. It saved Will from the horror of hospital food, and lessened his interactions with the medical staff.
Recovery had been slow going for Will, mostly due to his nature and empathy. Hospitals literally drove him nuts, their walls filled to their rafters with pain and suffering. He had been only able to be leave early thanks to Hannibal, but upon the strict condition he stay under the care of a medical professional. Will had already proven himself incapable of keeping up the type of care he needed, making work the precedent over his own health. Hannibal had volunteered his services and own home for this endeavor, keeping the demands of the FBI and Jack at bay.
Then there had been the capture of the Copycat Killer that had made Will stay even longer in his borrowed sickbed, but for reasons other than physical health. Beyond a shadow of a doubt in forensics and that tricky thing called evidence, Abigail Hobbs was found guilty for the deaths of Cassie Boyle, Marissa Schurr, Nicholas Boyle, Georgia Madchen, and finally Doctor Sutcliffe. Her motives was believed to be driven by her need to please a father figure. Since Will had killed Hobbs, Jack Crawford theorized that Abigail had replaced Hobbs with Will in her mind. All the other deaths were a gift to him to show Will just how well she killed, how protective Abigail was of him. When Jack had gone to arrest her, Abigail had only compounded the situation by not being there, the young woman having already climbed the wall and stolen a car, well on her way to Minnesota. In her family's kitchen, Jack put a bullet in her head where she had almost died before.
Jack and Will very carefully did not speak with one another anymore for reasons.
Depression kept Will longer in bed, and he would have deteriorated there if not for Hannibal daily interference in the matter. In Will's mind, the doctor went above and beyond the title of host, making sure Will cared for his own needs and ate daily. The only shining light in all this tragedy was Hannibal's endless patience though Will knew that the man must be grieving on some hidden level. Like some saint he didn't deserve, Hannibal seemed to forgive Will's blind spot when it came to Abigail. He assured Will that as talented a profiler as he was, no one could have known what truly lay beneath Abigail's surface. Hannibal pointed out that she had even fooled him.
After he was well as could be expected and mentally stable enough to leave, Will found himself reluctant to do so. He chose to stay with Hannibal, even going so far as to attend the man's ridiculous dinner parties, though he pretty much hated every minute of them. When Will did return to Wolf Trap, it was to an empty house and barely overnight, all his dogs still over at Alana's for safe keeping.
Those little separations of anxiety were ended by Hannibal, who converted his back yard into a living area for the dogs, though none of the canines were allowed in the house. As surprising as it was, Will found that he could live with that. He still had his house yet felt no need to return to it. Everything that he needed to live or considered important was here with Hannibal.
"Oh, you are fucking brilliant, Mr. Graham. The FBI's best and brightest." Will thought nastily to himself as he came upon the memory of Hannibal's arranging for his colleague to take over Will's sessions. Will squinted at the dog cup as if the damn thing would turn into an oracle and just give him some answers. All things considered, it was actually a pretty good fit. Will liked Bedelia well enough, even if she was a bit impersonal in manner and only practiced out of her house. Will liked impersonal. He spent most of his sessions with her trying to figure out if she was copying Hannibal as a template or if Hannibal was copying her. That should have been the dead giveaway to all this, or at least one of them.
Oh…that and all the sex could have been another clue.
Like everything else in his life lately, that had just kind of happened. With Abigail's death weighing heavily upon him, Will's insomnia had picked up right where it had left off in the increments of 'never'. To alleviate it, Hannibal's answer was for them to start sleeping together in his huge bed, the doctor citing that having another person nearby might distract Will into sleep. At the very least, he could be led back to bed instead of wandering aimlessly about in the dark. It had sounded perfectly reasonable to Will at the time, who didn't want to end up walking the wealthier parts of Baltimore in his underwear.
It started innocently enough. Being held in strong arms, Will allowing some sort of touch between them. He had to considering how often he found himself glued to Hannibal's side in the morning, drooling into the man's ridiculously expensive sleepwear. Soothing whispers soon followed, spoken in languages he didn't understand but were pressed into his curls like blessings. The barely there kisses in the dark that Will grew quickly addicted to came next, fleeting soft things that made Will's skin warm and tingle in their passing.
Escalation was inevitable.
Will was greedy for touch and Hannibal seemed to be weak for his attention. That thought still blew Will's mind, for someone that highly admired by others and held in such high regard professionally and socially, to seek him out and even more absurdly, work for his notice. It was about as ridiculous as them being in a relationship. The overwhelming evidence said otherwise though.
"Will…are you alright?"
Startled, Will looked over at Hannibal who was already immaculately dressed for the day in his version of casual. They had plans to go to a farmer's market after breakfast, which Will's inner voice pointed out should have been yet another indicator. Hannibal lived for fresh produce, though Will had yet to meet the man's butcher.
"Yeah, why?" Will mumbled, rubbing his hands over his unshaven face and through his bed head hair. Relationship or not, Will still woke up rough in the morning, though Hannibal had managed to convince him to take into the habit of wearing a robe. Especially if he insisted upon stumbling downstairs for breakfast in his underwear. Slippers were out of the question. Will had to draw a line somewhere in the relationship he didn't know he was having.
"No wonder we having caught the Ripper." Will thought, turning back to glare at the mug.
"You have been staring at your coffee cup quite intently with a wide range of expressions for the last five minutes." Hannibal pointed out as he put on his apron and started to pull out fixings for breakfast from the fridge. He still had some people ham left he wanted to finish so he was thinking Eggs Benedict. "What were you pondering about so intently? Are you considering throwing that mug out?"
"I love that coffee cup." Will muttered. He could admit that much aloud. He had already told Hannibal in the past that he enjoyed killing other people so what was a little cup love going to do. Apparently draw a look of ire from Hannibal who looked more judgmental about the cup than Will's past admission for his love of murder.
"I have plenty of cups." Hannibal grumbled, or at least sounded like he was. Will wasn't sure if it was the man's thick accent working against him or not.
"Yes, small delicate things that I will feel horrible about breaking. I'm not the most coordinated person in the morning." Will said, feeling the need to point one of his faults to hide behind. He moved to put the island counter between them, created some space. The point was made moot though, Will cringing as coffee just the way he liked it(dark and a little sweet)was placed before him in that damnable mug. Apparently, he had zoned out long enough for Hannibal to not only come downstairs to observe him, but also brew life's substances in that ridiculous contraption of steel and glass without his notice.
"I am well aware. I find it is a chance I'm willing to take." Hannibal said, tuning his focus to the food. Eggs Benedict was a tricky dish of timing all the elements involved. The bacon had to be crispy, the toasted English muffin crisp and buttery, the poached eggs delicate, and the hollandaise sauce unbroken. If anything was off, one could end up making a soggy pile layered with rubbery egg and disappointment. "You still haven't answered my question though."
"Which one?" Will sipped his coffee, and stayed the hell out of Hannibal's way. When he was still a guest(what the hell was he now? Boyfriend seemed too trite, companion too casual, and lover too intimate), Southern manners beaten into his head had made him offer help. It as always graciously declined, permanently so by Hannibal who claimed he took joy in the creation and control of the meal. Ever the gracious host, Hannibal alleviated some of guilt the empath seemed to hoarding. Will was allowed to help clean up afterward, washing and drying everything.
"You're deflecting." Hannibal said, starting with the bacon first. The disreputable grocer was going to be far more crisp than the spring greens he had tried to tell Hannibal were organic and pesticide free. His nose had smelled out the blatant lie there even before his taste buds had had to confirm it, the produce had so reeked of poison. "Why?"
Will sighed, not knowing how to word this without sounding like a complete insensitive ass. "I was thinking about…um…us and relationships…."
"Did you just figure out that we are in one?" Hannibal said much to Will's chagrin. While the grocer cooked, he prepared the vinegar water bath for the eggs in a shallow pot, bringing the water to a boil before lowing the heat to a bare simmer.
"You're not mad?" Will asked hesitantly, not wanting to see Hannibal convey that particular emotion. Something hinted within Will that would be a terrible thing to witness, that all men had their breaking points. While Will tended to implode, he had a suspicion that Hannibal's type of rage was the explosive kind.
"No. You are a very unique person, Will. You look into the center of other people's evil without flinching or any thought of self-preservation for yourself. It's difficult to turn that sort of insight inward." Hannibal said, working on the hollandaise sauce next, his version of it a little bit more egg yolk heavy. He didn't care for a thick version of this sauce for breakfast though, and he knew Will didn't know any better or really care. "I also believe you are not used to having nice things happen to you, and are under the false impression that if you notice them, they'll go away."
"Still other people might be offended, furious even. I'm not well acquainted with the concept of relationships, but I've gleaned that much." Will sighed, finishing his coffee to get down the plates. He sourly noted that he knew exactly which ones Hannibal wanted, the doctor smiling slightly as the bone china was set off to the side for him. The true source of Hannibal's expression was watching the two of them move in tandem together in the kitchen's space. He didn't allow Will to help him here often not because of the man's lack of culinary skill, but because he didn't want the profiler to figure anything out prematurely about his other identity.
"You'll find that I'm not like other people. We are both unique." Hannibal allowed another hint. He adored the game, but it was one that was never meant to last. The direction of the outcome had changed considerably though. Curing Will's encephalitis had been a major risk, but the detrimental effect of Abigail's death upon empath's delicate psyche had more than made up for it. Depression had turned out to be a finer tool than fever, like carving a relief into stone instead of blowing glass with fire. Speaking of which, Hannibal moved the hollandaise sauce off the heat, setting it aside for now while he focused on poaching the eggs.
"And alone." Will grumbled into his coffee. Unique was a nice way of saying 'freak'. He was surprised Hannibal put himself in the same category.
"Hardly. You are very agreeable company." Hannibal said as he gently tucked the eggs into their bath with nary a yolk broken.
"Assurance aside, I still feel inadequate. I should bring more to the table than just showing up to eat at it." Will let out a sigh, watching as Hannibal popped the English muffins into an overhead salamander, because heaven forbid Hannibal have something as mundane as a toaster.
"Oh Will, you can't rush perfection. It takes time and effort." Hannibal said as he gestured about this, the meal orchestrated beautifully from beginning to end. "It is much like a complex recipe. If one ingredient is overlooked, the entire dish fails."
"I lack experience in all those areas. Tell me what to do. How I can be more to you?" Will was being serious. He felt he needed to become more important to Hannibal, even if it was only in some small, remote way. "I don't want to be the one who makes the soufflé fall."
"Hmm….perhaps too delicate a dish to represent us." Hannibal chuckled, arranging the plates how he liked them by the pans and pots assembled on the stovetop.
"Ok, you're the chef. What would you pick for us then?" Will asked.
"A young heart roasted with cherries and a port wine reduction sauce. Robust yet subtle." Now that put a real smile on Hannibal's lips, one that nearly showed teeth. It might have unnerved Will if he had seen it. As it was the hollandaise sauce remained unaffected.
"Sounds good. You'll have to make it sometime." Will said, already licking his lips at the thought. It was an organ Will had never really ever considered eating before, but Hannibal tended to eat a lot of offal. Will reasoned out it must come from an European upbringing.
"Only if you help." Hannibal said, making the offer sound almost coy. His patience was running out fast to witness the day Will hunted by his side. He was becoming more liberal in his nudges, verbal and mental.
"I'll just ruin it." Will shrugged, hunching his shoulder to try and make himself look smaller. He watched as Hannibal assembled their breakfast with practiced ease.
"I beg to differ. It merely takes practice and some dedication. I'll teach you everything you need to know." Hannibal reassured, layering and saucing as he built the dish. Upon completion, Hannibal picked the plates up to make a beeline to the dining room, Will following in his wake with refreshed coffees in hand for them both.
Sounds ominous." Will got the odd impression they were not just talking about cooking anymore when faced with Hannibal's oddly affectionate look. He looked down at his food to avoid overanalyzing the doctor's expression, a perfect Eggs Benedict an excellent distraction. "This looks amazing."
"Thank you, but it will taste even better." Hannibal liked this part, Will's appreciation. The narcissistic part of his personality basked in the empath's selective attention while the sadist in him reveled in the fact that Will was consuming human flesh and enjoying it. True the game was beginning to change between them, winding itself down to an end, but the outcome of it would set so many other entertainments into motion, all directions having potential.
Having to kill Will was still well within the realm of possibilities, but it was an option Hannibal actively worked toward avoiding. The man's dependency had gotten to a point though Hannibal was confident that Will wouldn't go to Jack with the truth. Hannibal theorized that self harm would be a more likely scenario, Will willing to blame his own shortcomings and be burdened by guilt for them. Hannibal wouldn't allow that to happen. He had his pride as a medical professional to think about after all.
Aside from death which was a little too permanent, Hannibal's worst case scenario was having to hide Will away for a bit while he was conditioned, the empath strapped down to a bed to be administered drugs that would allow Hannibal to strip the man down to his mental foundations and build his psyche back up the way he wanted. That was time consuming though, and breaking Will might leave him a drone. Hannibal wanted an equal, a partner in crime, someone to stalk the night with him, not another mindless sheep. Hannibal worked toward the outcome where Will willingly embraced his particular type of madness with open arms. Jack had proven surprisingly useful in this aspect, jacking up the law to carry out his own personal grievances. Anger was going to be the key to letting out the killer inside Will, not guilt. Hannibal was doing all he could to make that particular wound fester inside Will's head.
The collective memories of Will yelling at Jack were kept pristine and polished in Hannibal's mind palace. It was enough to make Hannibal smile around his fork. The expression was misconstrued, though in a way that appealed to Hannibal.
"You love me." It was a statement not a question, one made in surprise by Will.
"Have any of my actions said otherwise?" Hannibal ran with it, liking the opening he had been given. Love was such a useful tool, flexible yet binding in its application.
"No…you just don't seem inclined to flights of fancy or trivial pursuits." Will told his plate seriously, finding himself unable to meet Hannibal's eyes. "This is serious."
"It always has been." Hannibal admitted with a surprising amount of truth as he watched Will with great interest.
"Sorry….I just find it disconcerting." Will stumbled, feeling like he was digging himself in deeper as the walls fell in on him.
"Love in general or my love for you?" Hannibal liked how the word tasted in his mouth, never having to say it so often during a conversation outside of lecture or therapy. He reasoned that he could love after a fashion, though he doubted anyone but Will would recognize it for what it was. Which was why Will was so perfect for him. It was like fate had given him a comrade.
"No, no…" Will sighed, cursing himself for already being at a loss. He decided to go with brutal honesty. "You know I'm going to screw this up if I haven't already."
"I have staggering amounts of patience." Hannibal countered with ease, pointing his fork at Will's remaining portion. "Please finish your food. It will be ruined if it gets cold."
"You'll need it." Will muttered around his forkful of food, obeying much to his ire. "I don't find love disconcerting. It's just…"
"I think it would be safe to say you meant it in reference to yourself." This breakfast was turning out to be a pleasant surprise. Hannibal felt like he was making some serious headway with Will as unseen bindings were further tightened between them.
"I'm not very loveable." Will sighed, leaning back in his chair regard Hannibal with a dismal look.
"I would disagree." Hannibal said, finishing his food. He was still trying to teach Will the finer points of savoring one's food. Thanks to a poor upbringing, the man still tended to eat too quickly, like the meal would simply stop existing because he was enjoying it.
"Yes, I can see the appeal. A charming cocktail of neuroses with an abundant side of antisocial behavior, not to mention the sleep walking, night terrors, and sweating. I am delight." Will said, motioning down to himself.
"Your self deprecation is worrisome." Hannibal tutted as Will rose from his seat to start gathering up the plates. "You are a delight. Your neuroses make you interesting, and I am sociable enough for the both of us though I do appreciate all your efforts to act adversely to your nature. Your actions in that regard speak louder and more profoundly than any trite romantic overture."
Hannibal continued, following Will back into the kitchen. The man's need to escape compliments was almost endearing. " As for you sleeping habits, they have all alleviated since you starting sleeping in my bed. You haven't slept walked in months, and your sweating was directly linked to your night terrors which are also a rare occurrence now. That being said, I'll remind you that sheets can be easily washed."
"So what? We're perfect for each other?" Will was surprised into a laugh, a harshly rough sound full of disbelief and amazing amount of pain. It was a strange notion to consider. Will tried to refrain from thinking about it as he filled the dual sinks with wash and rinse water. A lot of Hannibal's implements and plate ware had to be hand washed to the point Will wondered why Hannibal even had a dishwasher at all. .
"As much as any two people can be together. We balance as we contrast." Hannibal said from behind, the man's arms circling his waist to pull Will away from the sinks. Pressing his back to a firm chest, Will leaned into Hannibal so that he wouldn't be made to face the other man. He wished he wore his glasses more often now, but hadn't bothered with unneeded accessory much since he'd moved in.
"That is what we in the business of solving things call a 'clue'." Will's brain mused at him.
"Opposites attract?" Will chose to say aloud, ignoring his own inner sarcasm. Hannibal was proving to be a generous distraction, the man's lips already mapping out the nape of Will's neck.
"A simple evaluation but yes." Hannibal said softly into sensitive pale skin that was quickly beginning to redden from his attention. The farmer's market might have to wait if this continued.
"I just don't want you to regret being with me. Choosing me. You could pick someone else who fits into your life better." Will tried, he really did. He felt like he needed to give Hannibal an out, even while it wounded him to do so. The thought of going back to his old life, the one without Hannibal in it was frighteningly devoid.
"The only regret I would have was if I passed up the opportunity to be with you. I am not a man who denies himself pleasure very often." Hannibal murmured sweet and low into Will's ear, before taking the soft lobe of it into his mouth. His teeth bit down hard enough to make it sting and tease, a little moan escaping past Will's lips.
"So I'm pleasure now, not just a delight?" Will flirted back, feeling good about it because he could. He was desired. He was wanted in his entirety, every crazy bit of him. Feeling the truth of it, hearing it in Hannibal's voice was intoxicating.
"You are temptation itself." Hannibal gripped Will's hips, turning the man around so that they were facing each other now. He was pleased when Will's gaze didn't shy away from his own.
"Careful. You're making me sound like some sort of dessert." Will chuckled, wrapping his own arms around Hannibal's waist so that he could lean in to press a teasing kiss to a cleanly shaved chin.
"Oh Will, you would always be the main course." Hannibal said for too seriously for flirting. It was enough to make Will draw back a bit and take note.
"All meat is murder." Will countered. There was an itch in his mind, one was being to burn the longer Will ignored it.
"That must be why it tastes so good." Hannibal smiled, pulling Will back flush to him as his hands delved below the waistline of Will's drawstring pants. That sort of contact proved to be the balm that soothed Will's mind back into a seething mess of craving. He wanted to take and be taken, not think about all things evil and bloody for once.
"Should I be worried?" Will gasped, closing his eyes as his ass was gripped in firm handfuls. From the feel of it, they weren't going anywhere for a while except back to the bedroom.
"Never. You are in the safest place possible on this earth and in this life." Hannibal said his words in such a way that it sounded more like a vow than some flippant sweet talk. He had already released his hold on Will to start leading them back to the bedroom via the side stairs in the kitchen, Hannibal's large hand wrapped warm and tight around Will's paler own.
"And where is that?" Will breathed out, intrigued and a little taken aback. This exchange was somehow turning out deeper than merely saying 'I love you.'.
"By my side." Hannibal said with an assured confidence that marked Will deep. It was enough to make the man pause in ascending to look up at Hannibal, who was one step ahead of him.
"You're a bad man, Doctor Lecter, but one that I could love back." Will whispered before stepping up to kiss Hannibal's mouth. He could feel the doctor's answering smile against his lips, a sharp thing full of teeth. "A very bad man indeed."