A/N: I've been wanting to try a Will x Beverly story for quite some time now (I just adore the candidness of their relationship!), though I'd never been able to come up with a decent plot. Now that Alana's rejected Will (though more than likely not for long), I finally have an idea. So thank you, Alana. Keep on being a heartbreaker. ;)
Anyway, I just wanted to point out that by the time Red Dragon rolls around, Will DOES ingest a healthy amount of alcohol on a regular basis. That's why I don't find his binge-drinking in here all that OOC. I tend to have a bad habit of mixing the books with the show, because I just love them all to pieces. :) And the same goes for Beverly calling Will "champ" all the time. That was a Red Dragon thing (or at least, I don't recall Bev ever calling Will "champ" in the show – though I wish she would!). …But I digress.
I'm sure my "Folie a Deux" readers might be displeased that I didn't update this week, but I honestly needed a break from the constant angst of the final chapter. That, and a part of me isn't ready to let go of my first Hannibal fic just yet. I need some time. Or a lot of time, because the words aren't flowing. lol So in the meanwhile, here's a more light-hearted spin on the fandom. Enjoy!
CH 1: Strung Up
Will Graham was inebriated. So much so that when he gazed up at Beverly Katz, he didn't even realize they were in the safety of his own living room.
"You're on the floor…"
"Oh." Still not fully registering what was going on – or better yet, how Beverly had gotten into his house in the first place – he slowly pulled himself up and winced. "What time is it?"
"Late enough that I've been sent to come get you, Sleeping Beauty. What happened last night?"
"Yes? Graham, I didn't even ask you a yes or no question." Rolling her eyes, Beverly leaned forward and sniffed his breath. "Ugh…you're drunk off your ass!"
"Am not," Will mumbled. His pounding headache and tunnel vision, however, were both indicators of the opposite.
"Seriously, Champ, what happened?"
He looked up at her then, trying to focus his bleary eyes on her troubled face. "Where's Alana?"
"Alana? Are you telling me that hot doctor's responsible for this? I'm disappointed in you…"
"She's veeery hot."
Making a face, Beverly attempted to help Will stand on his own two feet. "Alright, Romeo, let's just get you into work and see what happens, ok? Crawford's going to be super pissed if you don't show up."
"Hmph – he's not my mom," Will grumbled.
Ignoring his commentary, Beverly tugged on his arm and gave a cry when Will staggered into her, the force of the stumble causing him to end up right back on the floor. "Ugh, seriously, Graham? Don't you know how to use your own two feet?"
He gave a noncommittal utterance.
"I'll take that as a no…"
Dragging Will into the bathroom, Beverly bent over and switched on the showerhead. "In you go, Champ." With a grunt, she lifted him by the arms and draped him over the tub. He looked absolutely ridiculous with his ass pointed in the air, but the water seemed to have the desired effect since he lurched up, coughing and sputtering in a panicky fashion.
With her hands on his back, Beverly gently tried to ease him back up into a sitting position. When his glassy, wall-eyed stare met hers, she gave a soft smile and said, "This had better not become a repeat offense, bucko. As much as I love dunking your ass in the shower, wet doesn't really become you . . . and I mean that in the nicest of ways."
Will blinked. "Um…when did you get in here?"
Alarmed, Beverly leaned in closer and inspected his eyes. "Goddammit, Graham, how much did you have to drink? Come over here…"
Urging him toward the latrine, she forced Will to open his mouth and stuck her finger down his throat. He gagged, his body lurching upward before he found himself sprawled over the toilet, his tortured heaves echoing in the room as he expelled his liquid breakfast into the bowl.
Beverly's cool, gentle hands brushed the hair back from his face as he panted.
"God, the things I do for you," she complained. "Next time could you maybe not vomit all over me?"
Going over to the sink, she cleaned her hands before grabbing a wash cloth and soaking it. "Sit up, Graham."
Will obediently leaned against the toilet and released a breath, his eyes going in and out of focus as she came toward him with the wet cloth. She squatted down in front of him, her brow puckered with concern and frustration as she mopped at his sweaty face.
"Never scare me like that again, alright, asshole? I may deal with a lot of dead bodies on a regular basis, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to find yours."
If Will hadn't been recovering from his alcoholic binge, he would've noted the soft hint of endearment in her voice. Instead, he gave a stupid nod and slumped against her.
Moving to the side, Beverly re-situated his bulk so that he was lying across her lap. For the time being, she'd have to tell Crawford that Will was "otherwise detained."
"What do you mean, you 'couldn't come in today?' I'm not paying you to nurse a hangover!"
Will winced, his eyelids fluttering as Crawford's sharp, booming voice reverberated throughout his skull. "Jack, I…"
"No – this is unacceptable, Graham! It's bad enough that you've been slacking in the field lately, but now I find out that you're also slacking in the classroom? Some of those students will soon be under my employ!"
Will gave a dull nod. "Yes, yes, I know…I'm sorry."
"And I suppose you expect me to accept that apology?"
Exhaling through his nostrils, Crawford folded his arms and scowled. He opened his mouth to speak, but paused and looked toward the space above Will's head.
The sound of a clearing throat came then, and Will jumped before turning and raising a brow. Dr. Hannibal Lecter stood in the doorway, his maroon eyes flashing queerly in the light as he gave them both a coy smile. "Forgive me, I was not aware that I was intruding," he apologized. "I merely wanted to stop by and make a brief request." When he realized that he still had their undivided attention, he continued, "I would be delighted if you two would attend my gala this weekend. It is a black tie affair, of course."
Will wrinkled his nose when he realized that last line had been directed toward him. It was true that no one had ever seen him in a tux, but with a professor's salary, it wasn't like he could afford to be well-dressed 365 days a year. He much preferred his plaid and tweed. He did, however, have a suit stuffed in the back of his closet for such occasions. He'd only worn it twice: once to his mother's second wedding, and then again to her husband's funeral.
Scratching the back of his head, Will finally asked, "Sooo, uh...this is a gala? At your house, or...?"
"Yes, it is a simple, yet intimate gathering at my home," Lecter clarified.
Will had to chuckle. "Simple? Yeah, right. I don't think you're capable of putting that word to good use."
"I suppose I am guilty as charged." Lecter placed a hand over his heart in a gesture of mock humility. "Though I am aware of your altered state of mind, I do hope that you will remember this affair. Most everyone in the department has been invited to attend, so I am sure they will remind you at some point."
Will exhaled. "Great...so now I have to pull out my dusty, ill-fitting suit."
"I can alter it, if you so desire."
He snorted. "At this point, is there anything you can't do? It's going to be hard to nab a woman with you always floating around in the background."
Lecter's expression was blank, though he was smiling. "I will take that as a yes, then. You may drop your suit off by my office whenever you wish. Just be sure to include your measurements so I know what to fix."
With his head cocked to the side, Lecter cleared his throat and announced, "I am afraid I must take my leave now – I am needed a few cities over for the preparations of my party. The affair starts at seven o'clock on Saturday, though I would be thrilled if you both were to come around a bit earlier."
"Sure," Will agreed, feeling his eyelids grow heavy. "If that's what you want..."
"I do, indeed." Lecter smiled at Crawford and said, "I do hope your charming wife will accompany you, Agent Crawford - and you must bring a beau as well, Will. Have a splendid day."
And with that, he was gone.
As Will tried to concentrate on the case files on his screen, he heard a soft knock and looked up to see Beverly lingering in the doorway. She had a packet of cupcakes in hand, a large grin on her lips as she wiggled them by her ear. "Wanna share?"
Will snorted and returned his attention to his laptop.
"So that's a no? You've never turned down Madame Hostess before!" Walking over to his desk, she brazenly had a seat and tried to be mindful of his papers. "Is this about Bloom?"
"I don't want to talk about her."
"Well, why not? I'm not trying to be a pain, or anything – you know how I get. I never told anyone about what you said this morning, so your secret's still safe."
"I don't have a secret," Will snapped.
Beverly held her hands up in surrender. "Okaaay, then you don't... Judging by your sour mood, I take it you've been officially invited to Lecter's gala? You always get uptight when you have to attend social events."
"I do not."
"Do so!" Beverly grinned, not even caring how immature they both currently sounded. Will's excuse was that he was still slightly under the influence, but hers was that she enjoyed goading him and seeing just how far she could get him to bend. Sometimes she learned some very interesting things when he was on the defensive.
Finally opening the cupcakes, Beverly took a bite and gave a seductive "Mmmm." She then proceeded to wave the sampled dessert in Will's face, trying not to smile as his brow creased in frustration. "Are you sure you don't want one?"
"No, but I'm pretty sure I want to kill you."
"Oh, c'mon! I wanted to get you relaxed before I broke the bad news."
Will's brow puckered. "Bad news? What sort of bad news? Is everything alright?"
"Not for you," Beverly said, now finishing off the first cupcake. "Our dear Dr. Bloom flew in from Georgetown yesterday evening. She plans on attending Lecter's gala, so I figured you might want to know."
Will felt himself reeling with shame and rejection. Even though it had been a full week since he'd kissed Alana – twice – he knew he wasn't prepared to see her. They hadn't even bothered speaking after that fateful day, because she'd made it quite clear that there could never be a future between them. He was too far gone.
Shifting uncomfortably beneath Beverly's curious gaze, Will coughed once and asked, "Is that all? I mean...who cares? We're both grown adults, so we can handle ourselves like colleagues. What happened didn't wreck our friendship."
Beverly scoffed, her voice muffled with cupcake as she said, "Yeah, right. Bloom made me promise not to tell you she was here."
"Why do you think, Einstein? You really freaked her out that night."
Will soured, the hollow of his cheek twitching as he glared off to the side. He'd thought that Alana was a mature adult, so to think of her running her mouth like a high school gossip deeply upset him. "Whatever," he finally muttered. "You can tell her to relax, because I'm taking you to the gala."
Beverly's grin was wolfish. "You are?"
"Yes," he said, "I am." He was honestly surprised by the conviction in his tone, let alone his decision to even bother attending in the first place. Will hated formal gatherings.
Appearing oddly pleased with herself, Beverly rose off the desk and asked, "So I'm being used as bait to make Bloom jealous?"
Will glanced down at his lap. "Um…well…"
"Great! You can pick me up at six. Or better yet, we can 'rock the society pages' and let me pick up you."
Will appeared embarrassed. "Oh...well alright, if that's what you want."
Beverly grinned and headed toward the door, tossing her wrapper into the trash before turning back to him. "Oh, and Graham?"
"Make sure your tie's blue – if you really want to piss Bloom off, we'll need to match."
Will grimaced. It looked like he was going to have to go tie-shopping.
A/N: Well, that's chapter one. It's definitely different from what I've been writing lately, considering how this is going to be light-hearted opposed to angst-filled tragedy. A girl could get used to writing happiness!
Anyway, this story will either be a two-shot, or slightly longer – I suppose it just depends on my inspiration, and possibly the story's popularity. And for the record? I like Alana a lot – I wouldn't dream of bashing her in any way, shape or form. I just thought this was the easiest angle to make Will/Bev happen.
Next up: the gala, aka the fun part! I'm already envisioning the awkwardness. :)