In the months since Hannibal first became Will's unofficial therapist, Will has come to rely more and more on the other man to provide him with stability when he feels his world slipping away. Hannibal is a small slab of granite in an ocean of quicksand constantly threatening to pull Will under. As others have distanced themselves, treating Will like fine china that will break at the lightest touch, Hannibal has become Will's primary source of emotional comfort and support. The feelings that grew out of this, at first clinical relationship, were only natural.

It is during a session in Hannibal's lavish office that Will's feelings for his psychiatrist come to light. Sitting in chairs facing one another, they are discussing a serial killer who is dismembering bodies following mathematical ratios. Hannibal is asking careful questions about the killer, trying to get the pieces to fall into place in Will's mind, but Hannibal's words are a low drone beneath the buzzing in Will's ears. He is watching Hannibal, poised and statuesque sitting with his legs crossed before him. The feelings of affection that have been incubating inside Will for some time begin bubbling up within him, warm and electrifying. Will wants, needs, more from Hannibal, from this relationship which keeps him afloat. Without warning, Will rises from his chair, crosses the short distance to Hannibal, and kisses him full on the lips.

It is rash and hasty kiss, a schoolboy's confession of love, and Will immediately regrets it. It is the first time he's ever seen Hannibal look shocked, and Will knows instantly that he has made a mistake. He is starting to retreat in shame when Hannibal takes hold of his forearm, preventing his escape. Hannibal's face has regained its usual emotionless mask of composure, though the corners of his lips are lifted slightly upward. Hannibal leans forward slowly and brushes his lips softly against Will's, just a quick grazing of one's skin against the other. When Will makes no move to continue his retreat, Hannibal pulls him closer and kisses him again, fully this time, and Will responds by moving his lips against Hannibal's.

At first Will wonders how it is that Hannibal can reciprocate his feelings. It's easy to understand how he has become entranced with Hannibal. Hannibal is everything that Will admires but is not himself: self-assured, socially charming, unshakably calm, and, hell, mentally stable. What Hannibal sees in someone who in comparison is a broken shell of a human being, Will doesn't know, though Hannibal reassures Will on multiple occasions that Will is a much more extraordinary and resilient person than he gives himself credit for.

They don't often openly discuss the thing that has suddenly emerged between them, but it's there whenever Will needs it. Whenever he needs something more than just conversation to calm his mind or more than a stiff drink to make him forget whatever gruesome crime scene has seared itself into the back of his brain. Their physical encounters progress from chaste brushing of lips and soft caresses to passionate open-mouthed kisses with hands running across chests and down backs. One evening, as Will seeks from Hannibal the erasure of a particularly disturbing case from his mind, Will removes Hannibal's tie and, hands shaking, tries to undo the top buttons of Hannibal's shirt. Will doesn't see Hannibal smile as he gently removes Will's hands from the buttons to undo them himself, removing his vest before parting the two halves of his oxford shirt.

As Will runs his hands across Hannibal's bare chest, feeling the power in the broad, lithe shoulders, and the prickling of hair below Hannibal's navel, Will suddenly feels that his own body is somehow inadequate, unimpressive. He doesn't want Hannibal to see him, embarrassed at what Hannibal will think when he sees his pale chest and gangly limbs. When Hannibal goes to unbutton Will's plaid shirt, Will hunches his shoulders and pushes away the hands guiding the first button through the fabric. Hannibal looks at Will, silently requesting an explanation, but Will only averts his gaze. Hannibal finds it almost endearing, this shyness, and he makes no attempt to push Will farther than Will will allow.

After that, a comfortable pattern emerges. In Hannibal's office or at Will's home, when things move past just the casual expression of affection, Hannibal will remove his waistcoat and shirt, sighing with approval as a fully clothed Will presses himself against Hannibal's naked chest. Sometimes Hannibal will reach between them and stroke Will through his jeans, reveling in the sounds that he coaxes from the back of Will's throat. Hannibal will cup and fist Will through his jeans or allow Will to rut against him, running a hand soothingly over Will's back as Will bucks against his thigh until he comes in his pants.

Sometimes Hannibal, mostly clothed, will sit in his desk chair or on the edge of Will's bed, and Will will settle himself between Hannibal's legs to undo Hannibal's belt and flies. He takes Hannibal in his mouth, breathing evenly as he works him with his tongue, sliding Hannibal in and out between his stretched lips. Hannibal groans above him and runs his fingers through Will's curls, murmuring Lithuanian words of encouragement. And afterwards they lie together in Will or Hannibal's bed, Hannibal's arm draped protectively over Will as they drift off to sleep.

One morning while sharing coffee at Will's apartment, Hannibal asks about Will's desire to remain clothed during their encounters. Will looks down into his coffee and shrugs,

"I just . . . don't feel comfortable, I guess. I've never really gotten used to the idea of anyone besides my dogs seeing me naked." Will drums his fingers against the counter, still not looking at Hannibal.

"It's nothing to be embarrassed about, Will," Hannibal replies, "The human body is a beautiful thing."

Will laughs, shaking his head, "No, yeah, believe me, I can appreciate that much." He tries not to think about Hannibal's body underneath his meticulously pressed suit. "It's more that . . ." Will glances up at Hannibal, focusing on his mouth, an unreadable line, "I guess I don't want you to be," he takes a breath, ". . . disappointed more than anything." Will's eyes are on his coffee again.

Now Hannibal laughs, the rich sound resonating in the kitchen, "Will! I assure you that were you ever to feel comfortable enough to remove your clothes, disappointment would be the farthest thing from my mind." Hannibal catches Will's eyes for a moment, smiling reassuringly, even as Will's eyes flicker away, and Will brings his mug to his lips to drain the last of the coffee.

A week later they are in Hannibal's kitchen, washing and drying the dishes after dinner when Hannibal comes up behind Will and wraps his arms around Will's waist. Hannibal breathes in Will's scent while running his hands softly back and forth against Will's stomach. Closing his eyes, Will sets the glass he is drying on the counter. Behind him, Hannibal is pressing his lips against Will's neck, murmuring into his skin,

"You smell absolutely delectable tonight, Will."

Smirking, Will turns around in Hannibal's arms to kiss him, and he places his hands on Hannibal's hips, guiding him closer. Hannibal smiles at that and brings his hands up between their chests, grasping the first button on Will's shirt and slipping it through the fabric. Will stiffens but doesn't move the hands away,

"Hannibal . . ." his voice has a warning edge to it.

"Will." Hannibal's voice his firm, and he makes steady eye contact with Will, "Do you trust me?"

"Of course I trust you, it's just . . ."

"I want to see you, Will," Hannibal insists, "Please."

Will pauses, his mind reeling. Part of him wants this too, but he feels too exposed right now. Behind him, the kitchen windows burn into his back.

"Can we move this upstairs?" Will suggests.

"Of course." Hannibal steps back and allows Will to lead the way to his bedroom.

When Hannibal enters, Will shuts the door behind him, and Hannibal tries not to show his amusement. There is, of course, no one else in the house, but if being behind a closed door makes Will feel more secure, Hannibal isn't going to point out the idiosyncrasy. Despite their previous encounters, Will is suddenly wary when Hannibal approaches him. He tenses, his breathing fast as Hannibal undoes another button on Will's shirt, revealing an inch more of smooth skin. Hannibal presses a careful kiss on Will's lips as he adeptly undoes the rest of the buttons. With Hannibal's guidance, the shirt parts and slides over Will's shoulders and down his arms, leaving Will's upper body naked. Hannibal places Will's shirt on the dresser before turning to look at Will, who has his arms crossed across his chest like he is cold despite the room's warm temperature.

"You are beautiful, Will," Hannibal assures, taking his arms gently in his hands and uncrossing them to expose Will's pale chest. Hannibal kisses along Will's clavicle while running his hands soothingly along Will's goose-fleshed arms. Will is acutely aware that Hannibal is still fully clothed, and being the only person partially exposed does nothing to calm his nerves. Gripping the fabric of Hannibal's shirt, Will tugs gently at it,

"Hannibal . . ."

He seems to understand, as he releases Will and quickly works to remove his own clothing. Will steps back and wraps his arms around his chest again, head angled downward as he entrances himself with the pattern on the carpet. There seems to be an extensive amount of shuffling of fabric for simply removing a vest and shirt, and when Will looks up, Hannibal is completely nude in front of him.

"Hannibal - !"

He's only ever seen Hannibal in partial states of undress, and the sight of him now makes Will's neck and cheeks tint pink.

Hannibal steps back into Will's space, "You've seen all of these parts of me before," he reassures, "Now you are just seeing them all put together." Hannibal places one hand on Will's shoulder and the other on the back on Will's neck, swiping his thumb back and forth in a comforting motion.

He touches his forehead to Will's and whispers, "Will you let me see you, Will?"

Will takes a shaky breath and nods. He takes a seat on the bed and allows Hannibal to remove his shoes and socks. Then he stands to undo his belt himself and to slide his jeans down around his legs before stepping out of them. Only his boxer-briefs remain. When he doesn't make a move to remove them, Hannibal steps forward once again, this time pressing their bodies flush against one another. A hotness envelopes Will at the skin-on-skin contact, and he lets out a compressed breath of hot air when he feels Hannibal's mouth against the shell of his ear.

"I assure you, Will, you have nothing to be embarrassed about."

Hannibal has his hands on the waistband of Will's boxers, and he slips his thumbs past the elastic to grip them and guide them down Will's hips. As Will is uncovered, he can't fight his hands as they slide in front of him to cover himself up. Blushing as he feels himself starting to swell against his palm, he is suddenly washed again with feelings of doubt, wondering how he could be good enough for Hannibal, how Hannibal could possibly want him in this way. But somehow Hannibal has always returned, in excess, Will's affections, never impatient or resentful of Will's reluctance to show himself to him. Even now, Hannibal is dropping to his knees and looking up at Will, encouraging, patient.

He kisses Will's cupped hands and says simply, "Will."

Five fluttering heartbeats pass, and Will reluctantly removes his hands, exposing himself to Hannibal, who immediately places a kiss on him and then takes him in his mouth. Will groans. This is the first time that Hannibal has touched him without two layers of fabric between them, and he is embarrassed at how quickly he swells in response. Hannibal coaxes Will to fullness, working him expertly with his tongue as Will trembles on unsteady legs. Far too soon Hannibal releases him, and he stands up to guide Will onto the bed. Will is on his back, and Hannibal hovers over him, leaning down to taste every part of Will that he can.

He runs his open mouth over Will's chest, briefly sucking on a nipple before turning his head to bite gently on the outline of Will's bicep. Will is awash with new sensations, and he makes small sounds of pleasure as Hannibal explores him. His initial perturbation melts away as he is emboldened by Hannibal's eagerness. Will pulls Hannibal to him to suck on his neck, and Hannibal marks his approval by rolling his hips against Will's. The moan that leaves Will's lips is unabashed, and Hannibal purrs against him,

"Ah, you are just lovely, Will," and he murmurs something in his native tongue.

The feel of Hannibal hard and rutting against him is short-circuiting Will's senses, becoming too much as Hannibal takes Will's earlobe in his mouth and sucks. With a heady moan, Will finds himself coming, his body taut, his groin pulsing as a stickiness coats their stomachs. Will is mortified when he hears Hannibal chuckle, and embarrassment sets his cheeks aflame at having come much too quickly.

"God, Hannibal, I'm sorry, I - " he stutters, but Hannibal quickly hushes him.

"There's no need to be ashamed, Will. It's probably been a long time since you've received contact like this; it's only natural that your body would be so easily over-stimulated." He says it as if they're having a casual conversation over dinner.

Will's body is starting to relax again after his release, but it is painfully obvious that the man on top of him is still hard. Pushing Hannibal up sufficiently, Will reaches between them to take Hannibal in his hand, and Hannibal smiles affectionately. He moves his hips in time with Will's hand, making small noises of appreciation until he comes, minutes later, over Will's hand.

Now that the heady atmosphere has dissipated from the room, Will's self-consciousness is beginning to creep back in. The casual nakedness of the two of them puts him ill at ease, the exposure weighing on his mind. As Hannibal makes his way to the bathroom for a towel, he notices Will's hands placed restlessly on his thighs, fighting the urge to cover himself up again. Hannibal plucks two towels from the rack and exits the bathroom, and on his way back to the bed, he collects Will's and his undergarments from where they lie, Will's on the floor and Hannibal's folded on the dresser.

He hands Will a towel and his boxers before tidying himself up and slipping on his own underwear. Then he takes his and Will's slightly damp towels and turns his back to Will to deposit them in a hamper by the dresser. He pretends to be interested in the face of the clock on the wall long enough for Will to slip back into his boxers before returning to the bed. They lie together, Hannibal's arm placed comfortingly across Will's chest, and Will is grateful that Hannibal does not try to initiate conversation. It is enough for Will's mind to grapple with the fact that there is no cloth barrier where Hannibal's arm meets the hot skin of his chest.

Eventually, calmed by Hannibal's even breathing, Will drifts off to sleep.

A/N: This was done as a fill on the Hannibal kinkmeme. I do not claim ownership of any of the characters used.