A steady rain was falling as Will Graham stepped out of his car and looked up at the formidable building that was the FBI Headquarters. It was always hard being the new special agent in town, especially with all of the other cool, popular FBI agents glaring at him as he walked into the building, but Will ignored them. He had travelled a long, grueling forty minute drive all the way from Wolf Trap to Quantico to work here for his new boss, Jack Crawford, after his old boss had quit her job and married a star athlete. But that was behind him now, and he was just going to have to do his best to fit in at the FBI.
"Ah, Will! Is that you?" cried Jack as the jumpy man found his way into his office. "It's been so long I hardly recognized you!"
"Um, I just saw you last week," said Will uncomfortably.
"Oh, right," realized Jack. His phone rang, filling the awkward silence. "Jack Crawford, FBI. Another one, really? Okay, we'll be right there," he sighed and hung up. "I'm sorry to cut our meeting so short, Will, but there's been another murder."
"Another?" asked Will.
"Yes, just the next in a long line of unfortunate victims. It's been going on for months now. Every few days another body turns up with all of the edible internal organs removed and nobody can figure out why! It's not like there could be a cannibal with a conveniently rhyming name around here. I have to go out to the crime scene now, but why don't you stick around here, see if you can make some friends?" suggested Jack.
"Uh, okay," said Will, not really liking the sound of that idea at all. He stood in Jack's office by himself for a few seconds after the FBI agent left before meandering out into the halls and eventually finding himself in the employee lounge. He was just about to sit down by himself when a friendly looking group of FBI agents beckoned him over to their table.
"You must be the new special agent Jack hired," said one of the women at the table. "I'm Beverly Katz, this is Jimmy Price, and Brian Zeller; we're crime scene investigators. And this is Alana Bloom; she's a psychiatrist and a criminal profiler."
"Hi, I'm, uh, Will Graham," he replied, nervously avoiding eye contact.
"Why don't you sit with us, Will?" offered Alana.
"Thanks," said Will, pulling out a chair and sitting down. "I didn't think anyone would actually want to talk to me on my first day here."
"Don't worry," said Beverly, "we'll show you the ropes. Anything you want to know about anybody or anything around here, just ask us."
Will nodded in gratitude and analytically scanned the room to get a better idea of his surroundings. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, except for… "Who's that guy over there?"
The other FBI agents at his table followed Will's gaze. "The guy in the corner eating pork that tastes suspiciously unlike pork, staring at people like he wants to serve them for dinner, who looks impossibly good in a suit? That's Dr. Hannibal Lecter," Beverly informed him. "He doesn't think any of us are good enough to really be his friends but every time there's another murder he throws a big dinner party the next day. It's totally not suspicious, is it, Alana?"
"No, not at all," agreed the criminal profiler.
"Why do you ask?" wondered Beverly. "You think he's cute?"
"Ooh, Will likes Hannibal!" taunted Jimmy and Brian good-naturedly.
"No," said Will defensively, a blush rising on his cheeks. "He just…stood out to me."
"Well don't look now," said Beverly. "But I think he's staring at you."
Will stole a glance over his shoulder and saw that the mysteriously sexy doctor was in fact staring at him creepily as he seductively sipped something from a wine glass. Will gulped and quickly looked away, but all throughout lunch, he couldn't shake the feeling that, like a deer on hunting grounds, he was being watched.
After eating lunch with his new friends, Will went off to the crime lab to examine some evidence from the unsolved murders that Jack had wanted him to look at. As he walked into the lab, the last person he expected to see was the mysterious man from the employee lounge, Dr. Lecter. Will's breath caught in his throat as Hannibal turned around to face him. "Uh, if you're busy I can come back later," said Will, backpedaling for the door.
As soon as Will had entered the room, the most delectable scent had hit Dr. Lecter's oversensitive nostrils, making his mouth begin to water. "No, please, stay," said Hannibal in a sexy accent that sent shivers down Will's spine. "I do not believe I've had the pleasure of making your acquaintance before. I am Hannibal Lecter."
"Will Graham," said Will, tentatively shaking the man's outstretched hand.
"Pleasure to eat—I mean meet you, Mr. Graham," said Hannibal licking his lips. It took all of his self-restraint not to grab the nearest scalpel and butcher the delicious smelling man right there.
"Yeah, you too," mumbled Will embarrassedly. "I'm supposed to be looking at a mutilated corpse from an unsolved murder last week. Do you know where I would find that?"
"It just so happens that I am already examining that same corpse," said Hannibal, turning back to the body lying on the cold metal table beside him. "You may examine it too if you wish."
"Thanks," said Will, adjusting his glasses and bending down to get a closer look at the gashes.
While Will was engrossed in looking at the body, Hannibal couldn't resist leaning in and smelling him, taking in the sweet aroma of blood, sweat, juicy flesh, and a tangy hint of… encephalitis. Hmm, this could prove to be interesting…
Furrowing his eyebrows and blinking, Will looked up. "Did you just smell me?"
"Difficult to avoid," said Hannibal, swallowing hard to suppress his hunger for Will's delectable flesh. He couldn't decide if he wanted to eat him or make sweet love to him. Probably both. But if he ate Will, then he could never watch him sleep or mess with his head or manipulate him into a dangerous relationship that could spawn a TV series or movie franchise! "If you would excuse me I am afraid I must be going," he said briskly, feeling his self-restraint begin to crumble.
"Uh, yeah, bye," said Will. Once the doctor had left, he sniffed himself self-consciously. He didn't think he smelled that bad!
Later that evening, Hannibal followed Will home and watched him all throughout the night because watching the person you are infatuated with and also want to eat while they sleep isn't creepy or a deal-breaker for a relationship at all. Even as he stood outside the man's bedroom window and watched him toss and turn, Hannibal didn't know what he was going to do with him. Perhaps he should tell Will to stay away from him and simply watch him from afar. It would be a shame to kill such a great mind. But before Hannibal could make up his mind, Will's shadowy figure sat up in bed. Fearing he would be caught, Hannibal ducked down under the windowsill and waited for a few moments in silence. He heard the front door open. A dog whimpered.
Slowly, Hannibal crept around the side of the house to see Will Graham standing on his porch in the middle of the night… in his underwear. Hannibal bit his lip. The doctor watched as Will continued to walk haltingly off of his porch, across his yard, and out into the street. Was Will sleepwalking? Hannibal couldn't just leave the man to wander off into the night and probably get himself killed, but he couldn't let him know that he'd been spying on him either!
Before Hannibal had the opportunity to come up with a plan, an oncoming van made up his mind for him. "Will!" Hannibal shouted, running into the street and pulling Will out of the path of the speeding car just before it crushed him.
As Will woke up, he found himself sitting on cold hard asphalt with a warm strong body supporting him. Opening his eyes, he found he was in the arms of none other than Dr. Lecter. "Will, are you alright?"
"Dr. Lecter? What are you doing? How did I get here?"
"You were sleepwalking," Hannibal informed him, helping him to stand. "Are you injured in any way?"
"No, why would I be?"
"You were almost hit by a speeding van. Luckily I just happened to be passing by and was able to save you."
Will blinked. "Just passing by? Do you even live in this state?"
"It would probably be best for you to go to bed now, Will. Especially with that murderer on the loose. It would be such a shame if your organs were the next to show up on the killer's dinner table," said Hannibal, enigmatically walking away into the night.
Will Graham just stood on the side of the road in his underwear, furrowed his brow, and blinked.
The next day on his lunch break, Will had just sat down at a table in the employee lounge when he felt an all too familiar presence sit down across from him. He looked up. "Hello, Dr. Lecter."
"Please, call me Hannibal," the man insisted, taking the lid off of his Tupperware container, revealing the most artfully prepared packed lunch Will had ever seen.
"Edible art?" he scoffed.
"The presentation is almost as important as the quality when it comes to the culinary arts," said Hannibal. "I brought you something too." He pulled another container out from his bag and handed it to Will.
The special agent opened the lid and found another equally as artful dish inside. With a shrug he grabbed a fork and took a bite. The taste was magnificent! All of the flavors blended together perfectly, and the meat… he couldn't quite tell what it was, but it was delicious! "This is actually pretty good," said Will. "What is it?"
"Lamb," Hannibal replied with a smirk.
Will nodded; he'd never had lamb before but if this is what it tasted like he'd have to eat it more often. "It's delicious."
"You should come over to my house sometime," Hannibal invited with a grin. "I'd love to have you for dinner."
Unable to forget about the delicious taste of Hannibal's lamb, Will stopped by the grocery store on his way home and got some lamb for himself. Upon brining it home and taking a bite, Will furrowed his brow. This didn't taste like what Hannibal had served him at all! There was no way these were the same meat. So either this wasn't really lamb or Hannibal's wasn't… He put down his fork and got on the internet.
He looked at Tattle Crime articles about all of the recent killings in the area. November 3rd, Man Found Dead In Apartment, Missing Liver. Then he looked up old e-vites to Hannibal's dinner parties. November 4th, Come Eat Delicious Fresh Liver at My Place. November 15th, Woman Found Slain, Missing Tongue. November 16th, Come Join Me for Some Cow Tongue Stew.
Will then looked up what lamb is supposed to taste like. "Hmm…"
The next day at work, Will decided to confront Hannibal. But not in the FBI building where there were a lot of law enforcement officers and government officials and people who could help if things got out of hand. No, he decided to have Hannibal follow him out into the woods to talk to him, like any logical person would.
One they reached a spot deep enough in the woods that no one could hear him scream, Will Graham stopped and took in a deep breath, sensing Hannibal's looming presence behind him. "You're impossibly sexy… and hot, your cooking is amazing but your meat tastes weird, you wear that suit like no one's business, and sometimes you speak like you're from a different country. You never eat or drink anything you didn't cook… How old are you?"
Hannibal quirked his eyebrows, not seeing what his age had to do with Will figuring out he was a cannibal. "47," he replied.
"How long have you been 47?" asked Will, astounded that someone so gorgeously handsome and young looking could really be 47.
Hannibal shrugged. "A couple of months."
"I know what you are," said Will.
Hannibal's heart began to pound in anticipation. No one had been able to figure him out this quickly before. "Say it. Out loud."
Will gulped. "Vampire."
"Yes—wait, no. Will, I'm a cannibal."
"Wait, you're a cannibal!?" cried Will, spinning around to face the killer.
"Yes, isn't it obvious?" asked Hannibal.
"I was prepared for you to be a vampire, but a cannibal? Hell, I might have even gone on a date with you if you were a vampire, but not a cannibal! You mean the lamb you served me was people?"
"Everything is people, Will," explained the doctor.
"That's disgusting! You're sick, Dr. Lecter!" cried Will, wishing he could throw up. But it had tasted so good!
"Yes, well, I should probably get going before you decide to go tell Jack about me," decided Hannibal. "So long, Will." With that he walked off into the wilderness to go find some unsuspecting, rude hikers, leaving Will shocked and disgusted, alone in the middle of the woods.
About three things Will was absolutely positive. First, Hannibal was a cannibal. Second, there was part of him — and Will didn't know how potent that part might be — that hungered for his flesh. And third, it fucking rhymed.