Two days had passed since Will Graham's first hypnotherapy session. He hadn't spoken to Hannibal since then. He had been very busy with work- Jack had him working on a series of murders out of state- but mostly he had been confused about what exactly the therapy had done to him. His 'episode' in the car after the session had him feeling incredibly uncomfortable, and he had been doing his best to put the incident out of his mind.
The day he returned home from the session, he had searched online and through any books he had that mentioned hypnotherapy for a possible answer to why he would have felt the way he felt.
Unfortunately, his books proved useless, and the internet even more so. All he could find were links to 'erotic hypnosis', which obviously wasn't going to help him. After an hour or so of pouring through useless information and videos of unconvincing hypnotists at parties, Will gave up.
Will returned to his home in Wolf Trap after a tiring day of inspecting bodies and brainstorming with Jack about the possible motives for the killer to find a yellow envelope in his mailbox with only Will's name scrawled on the front in impossibly perfect handwriting.
Will almost didn't remember what it could have been, before it struck him that Hannibal had once again agreed to feed his dogs while he was away, and that this must have been the recording of their session Hannibal had mentioned.
He let his dogs out and tossed the envelope on the table of the dining room, leaving it there while he put his coat away and let his dogs excitedly greet him, as they always did. He wasn't sure if he even wanted to open the envelope at this point, but Hannibal's words were seared into his mind. The therapy wouldn't work without consistency.
At this point, however, Will wasn't sure he wanted the therapy to work.
Will blinked at the clock, amazed that he could lay in bed for so long without realizing it. The time was passing by so quickly; one moment he felt as though he had just closed his eyes, the next minute, a couple of hours had passed in a single, restless blink. He wasn't sure if he was losing time or simply slipping in and out of sleep. Will sighed deeply and covered his eyes with his forearm.
His thoughts floated to the sealed envelope that was still laying on his table. Hannibal's words tirelessly cycled in his mind; promises of a better night's sleep, an escape from stress. The hypnosis had lessened his feeling of stress considerably the first day, and after returning home from his confusing roadside experience, he had somehow gotten a full ten hours of refreshingly restful sleep. That was the thought that had him hesitant.
3:13am. He could only hold out for so long. He needed sleep. He may as well give it a shot. Who was around to judge him? His dogs?
Will escaped bed to grab the envelope, and opened it hastily. Their session had been burned onto a CD, and Will's stomach instantly fell. Will didn't listen to music. He had no CD player, anywhere in his house. Perhaps he should have thought he might need one for this purpose.
Sighing, Will felt around in the envelope, suspecting there was more inside. Sure enough, a neatly written note fell out into Will's hand.
I suspected you would not have a CD player. I have left one for you next to the front window. You may bring it back to me whenever I next see you, unless you would like to borrow it for further use.
Despite himself, a smile jerked at Will's mouth. He looked up at the small table near the window, and sitting there as neatly and as conspicuous as if Hannibal had just set it down 30 seconds ago, a small CD player sat, headphones already attached.
Returning to his room, careful not to wake his dogs, Will got back into bed, the sheets having cooled in his absence. Fumbling with the CD and player like a caveman, Will finally managed to get it playing. Trying to get himself as comfortable as possible, he slipped the earbuds in and sucked in an enormous breath, letting it out slowly. Nothing strange was going to happen... This was going to help him sleep. He pressed play.
The session began playing. Will closed his eyes, listening to the beginning to the hypnosis. He nearly let it continue before realizing that he hadn't yet heard any part of the session. If he listened to the beginning, he would most likely be out as quickly as he was in Hannibal's office; Will pressed pause, and skipped further into the session.
"- about a typical day. What kinds of things do you expect to see?"
"Death. Murder. Insanity."
"Those are very powerful things, Will. How do you steel yourself, why do you keep looking?"
"It's worse when I don't look. My mind turns against me."
Will almost couldn't believe how talkative he was when under the hypnosis. He had thought he knew what to expect, but hearing his words spoken as if by another mouth altogether frightened him considerably. Still, the therapy had clearly had a positive effect of some kind, even if it was unorthodox.
"Your imagination overflows."
"Then you might say that the death, the murder, the insanity you see each day save you from yourself."
Something was happening. Will let out a barely audible groan, adjusting his position and pulling the covers away. To his horror, he was becoming aroused. It was just like what had happened in the car, only...
"Will? Are you alright?"
Only it was much worse. Will covered himself up again, desperately trying to think of what to do. Why was this happening again? Was it the therapy? There was no other explanation. Regardless of the reason, Will was hard within seconds.
"Tell me what you're feeling, Will."
"I... Feel like maybe I'm surrounding myself with death and ugliness so that I can ignore the ugliness inside myself."
Did he really feel that way about himself? Will's mind was becoming hazy as he listened to the session, feeling confusion and arousal and other emotions he wasn't ready to deal with at the moment. His hand snaked it's way down his own stomach as if on auto-pilot, touching the hem of his boxers.
"We all have ugliness inside of us, Will. But you are much more than that."
Overcome with a nameless desire, Will slipped his hand into his boxers. He moaned in a low voice, stifling the sound into his pillow. All rational thought was gone. The idea that he was pleasuring himself to the sound of his own hypnotherapy session with his psychiatrist and friend was irrelevant. It felt so good, so utterly frightening, and his senses were overrun with lust.
"I can help you overcome the darkness that has you. If you let me guide you, I can help relieve the stress, the burden you feel. Would you like that, Will?"
Will could hardly notice that his own hypnotized voice had cracked with an almost desperate inflection. His hand was working furiously, his arousal pulsing and begging for a release. Face pressed in his pillow to suppress his moans, Will's mind was bleary and unfocused, and what was left of his clarity was being used to time his strokes and listen for Dr. Lecter's voice.
"To do this, you must be completely honest with me, and completely honest with yourself. You can no longer deny yourself the things you want based on the idea that life is too ugly or too bloody."
"Nng," Will groaned, his back arching, his free hand gripping the bed sheets. He didn't know what he wanted. All he knew right now, was that he wanted this. It didn't have to make sense. His mind was reeling with thoughts and sounds and sensations, but Dr. Lecter's voice seemed to be at the center of it all, seeing him from the inside and telling him what to do and how to feel. None of it felt real, except for this feeling of sex, of release. Will felt like he was tipping head-long into an abyss of beautiful death, and somehow it felt right.
"I... Want... Release,"
Will's voice on the recording was so low it was almost a whisper, and it was completely drowned out by the moans and ruffling of the sheets as the man writhed erratically in pleasure. The recording had gone thoughtfully silent, and Will groaned in painful anticipation for that damn voice, the silky voice of his doctor and his friend, without which he would stay precariously at the very edge of climax. In the twisted, heated state of his mind, he knew that only that voice could give him what he wanted.
"And you shall have it."
Stuffing his face into his pillow, Will cried out pathetically, feeling hot jets of semen hit his stomach and leg. Body twitching and convulsing, Will bit his pillow hard as the waves of pleasure hit him like a relentless tide; this orgasm was much more powerful and long-lasting than the one previous, but Will had no time to dissect the events that had transpired, nor dwell on their source. Within seconds, despite trying his best to stay conscious, Will's mind fell into blissful blackness.
Going to Alana Bloom was not an option.
What was he to say? 'I need to talk to you about the fact that I have suddenly become incredibly sexually aroused by Dr. Lecter's voice, as a result of our extremely unorthodox hypnotherapy sessions. Any advice?'
The mere thought of telling anyone about this made Will want to find a corner and stay there forever. This was more than a problem, this was, it was... Sick. Twisted. Possibly insane.
Practically two weeks had gone by since his first hypnotherapy session, and since that time, he had lost track of how many times he had pleasured himself to the recording. So many times he had tried to throw the CD away, but every time he stopped himself.
There was no one he could talk to about this. Under normal circumstances, if there was something wrong with him and there was no one in the world he felt he could trust, he would tell Hannibal. But the thought of telling Hannibal about this made him sick to his stomach. More than that, it made him feel ashamed.
Still, he he had an appointment to keep. Will thought that at the very least, he could attempt to gain some insight from Hannibal about the subject in a discreet manner.
He was greeted as always by Dr. Lecter in the waiting room, and he allowed himself to be ushered into the office. It was difficult making eye-contact of any kind with the man, but fortunately for him, that was nothing new.
It didn't take long for Hannibal to surmise that something was wrong. Well, more wrong than usual.
"Is everything alright, Will?" Hannibal asked, a flicker of concern on his face. The sound of Hannibal's voice caused Will's skin to crawl with heat and discomfort.
Will forced a smile and nodded, removing his jacket and putting it in the usual place. "I've been sleeping really well lately," Will said honestly, intentionally dodging the question. "Being well-rested has really been helping me focus on everything else."
"I know," Hannibal countered, sticking his hands in his pockets and watching Will closely from across the room. "I can see you look much healthier. Which is why I am asking; you appear physically well, but you seem on edge. Tell me what's on your mind."
Will laughed dryly, feeling his face grow hot. Hannibal had caught on entirely too quickly, and Will felt he was in imminent danger of confiding in his friend, even at the risk of humiliation. "Nothing really, it's just-" Will paused, groping around for the correct phrasing, "- the hypnotherapy."
"Are there any side-effects?" he asked, almost instantly regretting it. Hannibal gave him a steady gaze, openly probing Will's expression. "It is not a medication, Will. The only side-effects I can imagine would be relaxation, or a heightened sense of self-awareness. What kinds of side-effects are you interested in?"
Will looked away, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "It's just that, we had been talking before about psychic driving, and the effect it might have had on Abel Gideon if-"
"Psychic driving is a method that needs to be used continuously over a substantial amount of time to have any effect," Hannibal said, causing Will to fall uncomfortably silent. "A phrase or an idea must be implanted into the subject's mind. We've only had one hypnotherapy session together, Will, and you have the recording."
"I know, I know... I didn't mean to imply that you- -I'm sorry," Will said, red-faced and feeling foolish. Hannibal watched Will with a stony expression.
"A patient who is hypnotized is only as hypnotized as they wish to be," Hannibal said, walking closer to Will. "It becomes a meditative state in which you have full control over what you do and what you say. I am merely the guide for that process. We become who we want to be, and we simply allow our subconscious to lead us to our desires."
Desires? Did that mean... Will nearly felt himself stop breathing, and suddenly the office seemed incredibly warm. "So, even though I don't remember any of it, I was still in control?" Will asked far too quietly. Hannibal tilted his head in interest. "Will. What side-effect were you asking me about?"
Will sighed and looked down, chewing on his bottom lip for a moment in silence. Hannibal was patient with him, and gave him plenty of time to collect his thoughts.
"Ever since the session," Will started barely audibly, "I've been... Getting aroused."
Hannibal looked away thoughtfully. "More than is usual?" he asked.
Will couldn't have been more embarrassed if he was standing there naked. "You could say that," he responded with a hint of humor.
Hannibal's brows knitted together in the way they usually did when he was thinking of every possible solution. "This doesn't sound like anything you need to be worried about, Will." Hannibal said, and Will managed to look up and meet the other man's eyes, only fleetingly. "You are sleeping well. You responded very well to the therapy. It is only natural that your body would take additional action to stay relaxed. Arousal is merely a sign of a healthy mind." he said easily.
Will only felt slightly better. Since it was all out there, he figured he may as well continue.
"Except... It's the therapy itself that does it," Will said, turning away from Hannibal and wandering to the familiar statue of a buck that sat atop a small pillar. Hannibal was silent behind him for a moment. "The session, yours and mine, causes arousal?" Will nearly groaned in humiliation. It was more than that, and he knew it. It was his voice. HIS voice, Hannibal Lecter's voice that was putting him over the edge every single time. But he simply couldn't bring himself to divulge that last piece of information.
Will merely nodded his head, placing a hand on the statue in front of him gently.
"Will," Hannibal's voice was closer now, he must have moved forward. Will could feel the hair on the back of his next stand up, as if there was electricity in the air. "You should have talked to me about this sooner."
Will choked out a laugh, and shook his head. "I wasn't going to tell you at all. This is a whole new kind of crazy, I didn't want to add it to my list of issues."
"You should have told me sooner so that I could have assured you that nothing is wrong with you," Hannibal corrected himself, and Will mulled over the words for a moment, and then dared to turn his head slightly to see the man. Dr. Lecter intentionally caught the man's eyes and followed them purposefully, holding Will's awkward gaze.
"This is not so unusual. We made so many breakthroughs that day, I should have warned you. Patients often experience suppressed emotions and sensations after this sort of therapy, sometimes in spades. And the recording of the session would only continue to ignite those suppressions. If anything, Will, this just means that the therapy is working better than I hoped it would."
Will was unbelieving. He had almost expected Hannibal to start referring him to another psychiatrist. He wasn't a pervert? This was something that happened to normal people? Will looked as relieved as he felt, and he turned to face Hannibal, letting out a long-lingering breath.
"So this is normal? I'm not... There's nothing wrong with me?" he asked, and Hannibal smiled in response. "Nothing at all. But I would like to try it again with you, to help break the association and relocate it to the appropriate places in your life."
"Yeah, that sounds…" Will shook his head and let out an obviously relieved sigh. "I mean, sure. If it's working, if this is normal, I want to keep going," he said, perhaps a little too eagerly.
Hannibal smiled at him, and Will missed the flicker of predatory majesty that had burned behind his eyes for a slightest of seconds.
"How about now?" Hannibal asked.