Two hours can pass before human blood starts to congeal. He has another fifteen minutes.
Her kidneys and both of her lungs—such lovely, lovely lungs as she thrashed and screamed for help, anyone!—have already been procured. Carved right out of her while her eyes bulged in their sockets, as she shook and shook and bled onto the tarp, as he shushed her mindfully, gently. The remains of Susie Leeds deposit in their rightful place, waiting unearthing. Hannibal's fingers unpeel the ruined latex from his hands absently. He turns his back to ghostly wilderness of Sparrow's Point.
It doesn't feel like a weekend off, even if the memo had been handwritten in his planner.
Mirrors do not lie. Everyday people may lie, he may lie, Will may lie, but reflections do not.
Lines around Hannibal's eyes and the faint bruising of circles begin to appear.
Certainly, it's not uncommon to feel exhaustion as a result of overworking. His schedule is quite tight these days. Appointments, shopping, further appointments with his psychiatrist, visiting Abigail and ensuring her well-being, preparation and cooking for dinner guests, occasionally attending the theatre, assisting the FBI when required by Jack.
Sometimes… he forgets that his own body truly is human, despite how society would paint him if they had a glimpse into his… … extracurriculars.
Even those will, eventually, wear down on him.
The wine does little to keep him alert and with a clear mind during normal hours, so Hannibal abstains during his evening sessions.
He invites a close-lipped Will to partake, steadying Will's hand with his own, as Hannibal pours the ruby-red liquid into Will's glass. Memorizing the shape and feel of Will's long, warm fingers clenching up. They are strong-boned, with evidence of hard work to them. Veins pop out beneath pale skin. Fine, dark hairs graze Will's knuckles.
The other man pulls the full glass and his hand out of Hannibal's reach, making a low noise and shyly avoiding eye contact. So typical of him.
Hannibal leans out, a wistful smile touching his mouth.
They talk softly in the big, big room. Will talks during the majority of the ninety minutes, stammering out his answers and psychoanalyzing about himself almost unintelligibly to Hannibal's carefully constructed, methodical questions. And while Hannibal does not believe in them, it is a small blessing in disguise… a curious amusement to see when Will has a sarcastic reaction to the conversation, arching an eyebrow in mock-distrust, lips curling ever so at his assigned doctor.
The fever-sweet of Will's usual smell comes off dampened underneath low-cost cologne and freshly cut pinewood on his shirt.
Virginia is hours away. Hannibal cannot imagine he had been chopping firewood right before his stop to Hannibal's office, loose-limbed from a new dose of anxiety medication and shuffling awkwardly in place outside the door. Though, it does not necessarily rid the image of muscles and tendons dilating and bracing with physical labor. The length and width of Will's shoulder-blades and his entire back, the skin likely burned a mottled pink and freckled by the sun. The nature of Will's hands, Will's body—a subject of great interest, to him.
Was it more desirable to cover Will in the lifeblood of a different victim, to mold him so perfectly, so beautifully into the ruthless creature Hannibal envisioned… or was it Will's own blood that needed soaking against a plaid, open-collar shirt, having Will's last dying act be pressing his warm, warm hands to Hannibal's face, as he was gutted alive, whimpering?…
"You look tired, Dr. Lecter."
A gravelly rasp. Will's eyes rake over him, stormy blue and gray fused to bright, open color. He shrugs, admitting to no-one particular, "…It feels weird even saying that."
Hannibal watches without expression as Will tilts his head back for a deep swig of the wine.
"In your eyes, Will?" he asks, voice neutral.
A small, hesitant nod from his patient.
"Maybe," Will murmurs, somewhere between teasing and uneasiness. Lips colored dark and shiny from the drink.
It doesn't feel neutral, heating his bones, surging an overpowering amount of possession through Hannibal at the sheer dependency in Will's gaze, at the unmistakable innocence in Will's too-faint smiles. He wants him. The realization pounds in Hannibal's skull, rising on scalpel-sharp thoughts. Of course he does.
He would tear Will Graham apart, to build him up again, to hold and to educate and to fuck.
"Then I shall take it as a compliment."
A breath leaves him, relaxed. Hannibal stands with the wine bottle, moving to tip a little more to Will's emptying glass and nodding dutifully when Will's hand covers his glass, implying no more. Perhaps… in time, he could reveal the secret to centrifugation of the blood of a fresh corpse, separating matter from water and distilling it. Adding grapes and fermenting.
"Let's continue discussing your father and his impact on your childhood…"
Abigail sleeps less than him, naturally.
But she greets Hannibal at the psychiatric faculty when he comes, sometimes beaming, sometimes distant after a while and unwilling to have a simple discussion. He suspects the hostility from others, not just inside the building itself but when she escapes it, and the nightmares shut her inside herself.
Despite their short time together, Hannibal attempts to coax her out with a book of poetry: "Aurora Leigh" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
He reads to her calmly from the poorly cushioned, guest chair, slipping on a pair of reading glasses.
"Before the day was born, or otherwise
Through secret windings of the afternoons,
I threw my hunters off and plunged myself
Among the deep hills, as a hunted stag"
She listens, because he senses it, as Abigail stares blankly out her bedroom window, fingers trailing heedfully over her blue, patterned neck-scarf.
It grows quiet.
She blinks, confused, and glances over her shoulder. Hannibal has reclined out on the chair, legs crossed at his ankles. The opened book flat on him, his breathes easy and deep.
Abigail snorts a laugh through her nostrils, walking around him. She feels astonished. It doesn't even look like him when he's sleeping. (A few years younger, she thinks.)
(But, really, since when did he crash in weird places?)
She picks up his cashmere, three-button jacket from the end of her bed, draping it over him. Doesn't even shift around. He must really feel safe here with her. The thought both assures and sickens her. She twitches away from the impulse to brush her fingertips over the line to his brow, smooth it down. The motherly gesture strikes Abigail to her core, churns her stomach—she can see it, she can see Louise Hobbs' face hover over hers, lipstick-soft mouth pursed for a goodnight kiss against her daughter's forehead.
Her lack of breakfast stays down, but she does too, sinking on the edge of mattress, trembling. Losing herself to staring blankly at the insides of her hands.
After catching himself yawning during a critical, psychological break-through with a more sensitive patient, who promptly burst into tears and sobbed a muffled threat into a crumpled bit of Kleenex about a bottle of pesticide poison that she kept under her bed… Hannibal cancels the rest of his appointments for the day.
"They are sure it is the Chesapeake Ripper?"
The car rocks subtly, and then not-so-subtly as Zeller makes a tight left on the road, gripping the steering wheel. "Sorry," he yells back to his passengers, grinning.
"I don't know why anyone lets you drive the van, you maniac," Beverly says, scowling. But the grin becomes infectious. As they fade into their own world of insults and laughter up front, Will glances back at Hannibal momentarily, and then a rear window. "Local law enforcement believes it," he replies to the earlier inquiry, curtly.
"Organs were stolen. Same method of disfiguration in the last couple cases related to his murders, research says."
Hannibal's nerves prickle with an undercurrent of… excitement.
"Have they identified the body?"
"There's no confirmation," Will tells him. "Not until we can get a decent look—jesus!" He reaches out blindly, as the van slams on its brakes and cracks everyone's upper bodies forward. Will intents on bracing his hands to Beverly's seat-head in front of him, as if anticipating an impact. He could jam a knee between his body and her seat. It takes a good few seconds before he realizes Hannibal's arm had flung out, protectively against Will's chest and seatbelt, enough to already provide the needed brace.
"Jack's behind us," Beverly points out, her scowl less playful. "He's gonna kick your ass for trying to run a red light."
Zeller's face goes a nervous shade of white, throat gulping. The light turns green. Looking quite unperturbed by the proceeding events, and the violent car movements, Hannibal scans his outwardly shaken patient, releasing him. "Are you alright?" he asks, tempered but all the same concerned.
"Besides the whiplash," Will says, muttering and rubbing at the nape of his neck before glaring at nothing in particular.
The rest of the car ride passes like a peaceful dream, no interruptions, or squealing tires. Probably because Will nods off somewhere down the bridge of Route 695.
Will's tongue lingers on the gross, metallic side where he bit down a little, while being pitched forward in his seat. His shoulder feels impossibly heavy, like pressure weighing down. He shifts his head against his headrest, adjusting his glasses and looking blearily over to the side. He doesn't expect this.
The top of Hannibal's finely combed head and his cheek lies resting to Will's shoulder. He's out cold, lightly snoring. Snoring.
Snoring, oh my god.
A big, embarrassed smile lifts Will's mouth. He exhales loudly, sleepily, and peers over his companion thoughtfully. Maybe not so infallible after all.
"Got it," sounds enthusiastically in Will's ears, as the two crime scene investigators high-five each other and stare down at the glowing cell-face. "Nice pic," Beverly comments, idly.
"Send it to me."
Will's arm is slowly beginning to go numb from Hannibal's weight. His nose itches. And now his co-associates are part-time gossip mongers. Or full-time, he hasn't decided yet.
"If that goes viral on the academy's discussion boards, I'm suing," he says, letting his eyes fall shut before reopening wider.
They flash him guilty smiles.
"We're here, by the way," Zeller announces.
The industrial complex and steel mill encompass most of Sparrow's Point, but a patch of sparse woods between inland and the beaches lead to an abandoned lighthouse. Twenty-four hours ago, Susie Leeds was found at the top level of eight stories, neck broken along with several other limbs, to be grotesquely shoved into the too-cramped lantern.
She had already been crawling with maggots, from ears and eyes and mouth, from seventy-two hours of decay.
No evidence left behind. And, true to the Chesapeake Ripper's profile, no traceable connection to motive. If anything existed in the first place. The official confirmation from the FBI reports had his name as key subject. Jack folds his hands together, a heavy expression to his face. "What was so special about her?" he asks.
Will grumbles impatiently to himself, eyeing the manila folder on Jack's desk.
"Where was she heading before her parents said she was missing?"
"A sleepover at a friend's house across town. She took public transport."
"That's interesting," Will speaks up, eyebrows furrowed. "The Chesapeake Ripper tore her open, but it felt more… it wasn't revenge, not a scheme or a warning for someone else." He tapped his forefinger over some text on a single-sheet page. "But he's particular about the victims he chooses, especially if he planned on taking organs."
"What are you getting at, Will?"
"Her medical records said Susie Leeds suffered from a neurological disorder," he explained. "In very, very small levels, but… it was diagnosed as idiopathic hypersomnia." Will stares down at printed words, hollow-eyed and grinding a palm-heel to his temple. A funny sensation lurches at his insides, but unable to put a specific emotion behind it.
"She had narcolepsy," he whispers.
In a way, it's sort of like a great honor to be able to cook dinner with Hannibal. His reputation precedes him and his culinary skills are unmatched. Alana's just glad she's learning.
She observes him pour the warmed cognac over the roasted duck, adding Muscadet and the onions with cloves along with carrots and beurre manié. All this before placing everything into the oven for another hour. Alana gazes back at her pan, stirring sugar and garlic, regardful of placing the plum tomatoes cut-side down with thyme springs.
"What are we having again?"
Hannibal dips his hands under the running faucet, washing thoroughly. "You are cooking tomato and caramelised onion tart tatin," he says. "The main dish is Caneton au Muscadet."
"Sounds delicious," she exclaims over the noise of oil sizzling, tossing him a pleasant look. "And very hard to say."
He chuckles, wiping his hands dry and correcting his apron.
"I suppose it is, but you are right. Very delicious."
Potato skin curls onto the stainless counter-space. Alana gives a side-eye glance as he peels the vegetables, and turns down the heat, spreading onions and cherry tomatoes into her mix. "A lot of people are worried about you," she says, not hearing the muted scrape of his knife pausing. "Abigail said you fell asleep during your last visit with her."
Hannibal nods solemnly, meeting her eyes. "I apologized for my rudeness," he says. "Is she angry with me?"
"No, but I do think it may have cheered her up to see you in a vulnerable state."
That brings a slight quirk to his lips, and to hers.
"Idolization can be misguided. I happen to be a very vulnerable person… I just prefer not to show it."
The peeled potatoes brown with dollops of butter— in another pan beside hers on the stovetop—boiled and seasoned with pepper and salt. They barely touch elbows.
"I know," she tells him.
"What would be your diagnosis for me?"
Alana makes a dismissive, smirking groan. "I don't diagnosis friends. And I certainly wouldn't to my former mentor." Her clear blue eyes stare up again. "But if this were me," she adds, "I would recommend lightening the load on my responsibility, at least long enough to get some decent sleep. You know… before I would collapse."
She likes to think she's being understated to the point where she isn't giving an unwarranted diagnosis and is encouraged by a deeper smile from Hannibal.
"That is very good advice, thank you."
He gently pats her arm holding the pan, stepping away to check on the roasted duck. Several minutes tick away, in silence, as Alana rolls out the dough for the tartin, waiting for Hannibal to finish basting the duck and helping him yoke the bowls of vichyssoise. "You were always incredibly helpful in giving me a hand around the kitchen, this I am also thankful for, Doctor Bloom," he praises, carefully plucking the sealed container (of what she assumes is going to be chicken stock for the recipe) from her fingers. "I hope you are hungry."
Things seem blurry now.
Out of sorts. He feels sick often. Hot. Nauseated and fuzzy. Wads of super-thick cotton stuffed inside his head.
"I'm in Baltimore, Maryland."
And he won't stop sleepwalking.
"My name is Will Graham."
His eyes slit open, reassured and pained by the view of ridiculously luxurious interior decorating. It means he's not home. It means there's still something wrong.
Hannibal keeps a firm clasp on both of Will's quivering hands, guiding him to take a seat on a high-end sofa.
"Very good, Will," he encourages, taking the opportunity to kneel. Perspiration had darkened twin V's on the front and back of Will's tee-shirt, and it feels disgusting the way the material sticks. "It's a bit late for house calls." A bark of a laugh escapes Will's mouth at the comment. "But allow me to offer a drink of water."
"I should go home," Will says half-heartedly when Hannibal returns with a coffee mug of tap water, but cannot make himself push up from slumping back.
"You are not inconveniencing me. You are my friend, Will."
A kindling warmth steals up Will's chest and burns brightly in spots to his face.
It's so… adolescent, to feel like this.
"T-thanks." Will rubs at the facial hair on his chin before taking small sips of water, lips tight around the rim. "…Obvious not now," he says, "but, have you slept at all, Doctor?"
Hannibal joins Will on the next cushion. "Yes," he says, patiently. "I am back to my accustomed schedule. No more surprise naps."
Relief cascades into him, through him, nearly lobbing a sigh from him. Will doesn't know for what.
"Thank god," he breathes out.
"What was that?"
"U…uhm, odd," Will says, quickly. "Was odd. It was odd. Seeing you fall asleep everywhere." He sips bigger mouthfuls, eyes lowered comfortably.
The mug lowers from Will's lips, urged by Hannibal's palm.
"I was in no immediate danger. I didn't mean to worry you."
"I wasn't worried," comes out more like a grunt.
Will scratches at the upper part of his thigh, at the fleecy material of his pajama bottoms. (It's a lie he's telling, but it isn't, but… it is.)
He swallows hard at the undeniably cold file in Hannibal's tone.
"My mistake." The other man straightens his suit-jacket, already on his feet. "Would you like me to drive you home, Will?"
"For all I know, I'll just end up back here…"
"Your car is parked outside."
Will's heart slams in his throat.
"I… drove? I freakin' drove HERE asleep—!—?"
At the shocked outcry from his patient, Hannibal says, flatly contemplating, "Perhaps if I took your keys…"
Panicky breathes snake around him, constricting Will's chest. "Why don't you j-just handcuff me to the bathroom, I'm sure it'll work out better… I'll feel safer a-anyway." He doesn't recognize his name being repeated. Not at first. Hands cradle to Will's head, to his face and lifting it up. Hannibal's eyes are pinpricks of living color, of magnetism.
He could drown in them. Maybe he already has.
"I'm afraid you are in no condition to be handling this situation alone, Will."
"Handcuffs it is," Will murmurs, fainter than a birdsong.
He has no idea what he's saying right now, and it doesn't matter. Will has already scooted up the sofa cushion, towards Hannibal's direction. Their mouths crush together, roughly scraping lips and teeth. And, shit, it's amazing and it's terrible at the same time—his front teeth hurt, Will still has trouble breathing, and Hannibal growls.
And then, there's hands trying to push him away.
"I don't want a pity fuck, okay, or a pity kiss—whatever," he chokes out. Will smiles like he's in agony, features crinkling. "And I don't want to mess everything up more than I already have, but I just…god, I did worry. I lied." Will's hands scrub his eyelids and across his sweating forehead, until he feels them pried away without much of a fight.
"I want you to be truthful with me from now on, Will." Hannibal's breathing warms the surface of his mouth, their heads pulled close.
"No more lies, do you understand," he whispers.
An agreeable head-shake. Will chuckles, eerily soft.
"Does that mean I'm staying?"
The hands on Will's shoulders firmly squeeze. The next breath hits the outside of Will's ear, lighting a hot, crawling fire in his bloodstream, rushing down to his cock.
"… …It means you cannot leave."
He shook and shook and released himself with a gasping breath on the sheets, as Hannibal shushed him mindfully, gently, rubbing Will's sides up and down.
NBC's Hannibal and the poem in "Aurora Leigh" are not mine. THIS PROMPT GOT OUT OF CONTROL. In a good way? Sure. Wheeeeeeee, this is my birthday present to myself. A quarter of my life gone and it's been greeeeat so far. -dances- Welp, I hope you all enjoyed reading. Any and all comments/questions are super duper appreciated, and thanked with cookies. If you want any human in them, you're gonna have to add them in later, sorry. Fresh out this month. You can try Quiznos.
"Gen or Hannibal/Will
Killing people and disposing of their bodies takes hours and Hannibal already works from 9 to 7 as a psychiatrist. As a result Hannibal starts falling asleep everywhere even when he doesn't mean to."