AN-All info provided by Wiki which I do not own along with everything else- Night on The Bare Mountain (Russian: Ночь на лысой горе, Noch' na lïsoy gore) is a composition originally by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky made a witches' sabbath the theme of a 'musical picture' titled St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain (Russian: Иванова ночь на лысой горе, Ivanova noch' na lïsoy gore), completed on 23 June 1867 (St. John's Eve).

Not beta read


This time round, the killing ground was bad.

Even by their experienced standards, it was appalling. Just an evil space of fresh hell on earth that someone had taken upon themselves to coat liberally in shades of rotting red that was turning brown and black in places that were just finally beginning to dry. The carpet still squished in places, bleeding out spilled life from permanently stained woven fibers. It smelled putrid here, like turned metal, corroded copper and iron that had somehow soured heavy and wet, an organic edge to it creeping in to overwhelm.

What had been a reasonably priced studio apartment in a relatively safe neighborhood in Baltimore was now a dripping mess of still moist bodily fluids. Once pristine white walls were soaked through, past the drywall and all the way down to the cinderblock from the multiple coats of human paint meticulously applied to it. The people shaped containers had been bled dry and discarded, left scattered about on the floor in rotting pieces and piles to spoil further, festering strange colors in shades of decay.

The killer had only been interested in their liquid packing, apparently having little to no use for the squishy insides that wetly hung out of ragged openings, obviously made in haste and with very little care to the contents. Hung upside down from the ceiling at some point, the taken had been bled and drained dry, their crimson wash collected into old paint buckets. From the looks of it, the person of strange intent had been using the unwilling donations to paint one wall in the room, focusing primarily on the largest undecorated space as their canvas. Everything else marked and splashed liberally with rapidly rotting cherry was just an accident, or an afterthought really, a sloppy by product of trying to get that one wall a solid color of glistening chaos.

Ten bodies in all lay out across the floor of the apartment in various stages of decomposition, the corpses having in life once been the reported missing men and women of all different ages and races with no obvious connection between any of them. Most of the poor bastards had been stolen right off the street seemingly at random. The maelstrom of abductions had been all leading up to this, a red room with slick, sticky floors and fevered metallic scents that lingering muggy in air like disease. Unused to dealing with this kind of crazy, the local police refused to touch this case, calling in the FBI. In answer, the Bureau dispatched Jack Crawford and his team of talented misfit toys.

By the time Jack arrived, his team-Beverly Katz, Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller- were already on the scene, doing what they each did best. Amidst this false ocean of disturbia, it was almost comforting to hear Price and Zeller bicker back and forth while Beverly mediated or schooled them at cracking wise. The only one left to arrive and who was most noticeably absent was Will and for once, Jack was grateful for the mentally fragile man's delay to the scene. As late as it was, it gave him time to call in Doctor Lecter for some support.

Though Will continually told him that he was fine, Jack was beginning to let himself notice the cracks along Will's mental edges, the empath shaking harder than ever before when he emerged from his process while the color never really returned to his skin. Jack was sure that Will had ulcers burned into his stomach by now from the amount of aspirin he ate like Skittles, his headache a constant symptom now at these scenes. People were beginning to comment, more so than usual.

Try as he might and despite his best promises, Jack could not be Will's bedrock, acting as his firm ground to cling when his brain flooded itself with images that left Will weak and shaking, drenched in cold stinking sweat. Jack needed a killer caught though, his very own demon in the dark vanquished, and he needed Will to do it. The unusual, rare man of pure empathy was the only one who could find the Chesapeake Ripper. With a ever-growing trail of bodies designed to taunt him, Jack felt that he didn't have time to coddle or placate Will, even if he was breakable. If he were honest with himself, Jack would have to admit that he was also far too selfish to give up his best tool for catching the Ripper. He had found that the only anchor that seemed to keep Will from drifting out to the deeper seas of insanity came in the form of Doctor Lecter.

Unofficially Will's psychiatrist and asked to be so by Jack, Hannibal Lecter had proven to be unforeseen blessing, the benefits of his soothing attendance discovered by accident when he had been asked to accompany them during the ambulance organ thief case. During the tense standoff and reasonably bloody aftermath, Will had remained balanced and seemingly mentally intact the entire time in Hannibal's presence.

Usually the prospect of bringing in a killer made Will jumpy and nervous but the entire event had passed smoothly without even a hint of sweat or fidget from him. Jack had only noticed because Will had kept the doctor in his line of sight the entire time, even when Dr. Lecter had jumped into the ambulance to save the organ harvester's latest victim. Considering that the empath's gaze tended to flit about like a drunken honeybee of avoidance, it was definitely something that had caught Jack's attention even in the midst of detainment.

After that, Jack made it a point to call Dr. Lecter in more often to consult with them on cases. Thankfully for them all, the good doctor had been quite amenable to the prospect, accommodating Jack's requests for his presence at any hour with decorum no matter how late it was made.

It was win-win in Jack's mind really. Not only did he ground his brilliant profiler but he also got a well respected psychologist to round out his dream team. All together, they caught the uncatchable, the murderers who slips through the cracks and past normal law enforcement because they were too weird and too crazy for normal means of apprehension. Now if they could only catch the Chesapeake Ripper…..

His thoughts on the matter were interrupted with the arrival of Lecter with Will in tow, trailing behind the doctor with bowed head and clenched fists like a reluctant child, one who looked like he expected a beating. Despite his resolve, Jack mentally cringed, knowing that he was about to unleashed all sorts of new nightmares on this man's splintering mind.

As if to reassure himself, Jack looked back over his shoulder at the scene to strengthen his resolve, stepping aside to let Will and Lecter pass him. To both men's credit, neither reacted strongly to the vivid scene laid out bare before them. Will looked tired, more so than usual, his floating eyes taking in the room with a jaded weariness, unimpressed by what they saw. Jack didn't know if he should feel worried about that or not. Lector appeared to be contemplative and mildly interested, though Jack couldn't really tell for sure. Lecter wore the concept of a blank expression as well as he did his ridiculously expensive suits, his face a tailored opaque mask of nothingness. For all Jack knew, Lecter could be profiling the scene or making his shopping list.

"Clear the room!", Jack bellowed, striding out with his team in tow, at least most of it. Jack paused in the doorway to collect Hannibal. "Doctor Lecter?"

"I wish to stay, if that is alright with Will. I would like to observe the process he is using to submerge himself in these killers. Perhaps it will give me some insight on how to expel them better from his mind when he is done." Hannibal explained with a silver tongue that dripped with the slow poison of half truths. It sounded like a perfectly reasonable explanation but something about it bothered Jack, a nagging feeling that he was missing an important detail but damned if he could put his finger on it.

"Not my call.", Jack refrained from snapping at the doctor, remembering in time that Hannibal was a stickler for manners and Jack was a fan of his cooking so exceptions were made. "Will?"

At the sound of his name, Will flinched as if struck, the empath's mind already slipping away from their reality. "Y-yeah….Fine….just don't touch me. I don't want to hurt you by accident." Will answered hesitantly, his eye flitting about the room, mad and fever quick. He was flushed from the chronic sickness of embarrassment, apprehension, and the almost tangible unknown. Hannibal smelled illness and stress coming off of him, acidicly tangy and sweetly sour. Its fragrance was similar to the bouquet of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, refreshing and light on his palette. It was enough to made Hannibal's mouth start to water, the doctor barely bothering to take note of Jack's departure and his barely there assurances to Will that he would be close by. If wasn't so entertaining to constantly demean and mock the man, Jack would have found his way to Hannibal's dinner table dressed in a sauce rather than a suit.

Swallowing his version of hunger down, Hannibal found it endearing as well that Will didn't want to embarrass himself in front of him. One day soon Will would learn that such emotions had no place between them, too mundane for their kind to experience. "It's nothing personal….just don't…" Will attempted to explain, some part of him not wanting to offend while others were silently begging Hannibal to understand. The urge to collect Will up in response and take him away from this place was surprisingly strong. Hannibal resisted the odd desire even as he studied it like a man pinning butterflies down in the case of his mind, admiring color and composition while still trying to analyze its actual purpose in existence as whole.

Like a moth to a flame, this is what drew him to Will, the empath making him feel things that were thought of to be long dead and discarded. Clinically, Hannibal understand the possessiveness that was seeping into his limbs, the steadily growing compulsion to draw Will to his side and mark him as his own every time Jack or anyone else stood too close or talked too long with him. He couldn't fathom the wanting though, this need to protect Will in his own special way. It was a strange concept to experience when one's who own self-preservation instinct was so prevalent. These inclinations that he had for the man before him were like a sore tooth, one that he couldn't help keep poking with his tongue.

Hannibal soothed down aspects of his true nature, promising himself and Will that one day he would show Will just how much he understood him.

"Calm yourself. I am merely here to observe. To learn how to help you better. I am not here to judge you or interfere, Will." Hannibal soothed, holding his hands out palms up, like one would do to calm a skittish animal and reassure it of its safety.

The gesture or its meaning was not lost on Will. He just couldn't bring himself to care. Will could admit to himself that he felt feral, out of his mind even. He was just relieved someone else saw him that way as well and made efforts to treat him with some care.

"It….I may get a little weird." Will licked his too dry lips, already cracked and bleeding. He was dehydrated and he hadn't even really started sweating yet. Will really hoped he wouldn't pass out but asking for water was like asking for help. It might be seen as weak and he couldn't afford to be weak, not with so many killers lurking behind his eyes. Not with Hobbs leering at him from a nearby corner, the cannibal who lived to eat up what was left of Will's sanity leaning up against the blood wall like he had always existed there.

"I can handle weird." Hannibal answered, making Hobbs disappear. Will breathed a sigh of relief, risking a glance over at Hannibal. He immediately regretted it. The doctor was wearing that strange slight smile of his, the one that never really reached his too cold eyes and made Will shiver rather than warm him on the inside. It was a snake's grin, cool and secretive, like Hannibal was enjoying a joke while the rest of the world entirely missed the punch line.

"Don't say I didn't warn you." Will grumbled as he took off his glasses, carefully pocketing them in his vest. Attempting some privacy, he turned away from Hannibal and opened his eyes to the scene laid out bare before him. He went to stand in the middle of the room, letting his head slightly tilt back and his eyes close, his breathing slow and measured like he is waiting for something. Or someone. He was patiently waiting for a killer to come climb in his head and make space there. Carve himself into Will's bones along side all the others, make him sweat floods, breathe out death like illness, and wander empty streets of dreams and asphalt when he should be sleeping.

Will closed his eyes and let the pendulum swing.




Blood pulled away and out of the carpet, back into the bodies it had been drained from like a crimson tide in reverse as the corpses reassembled themselves back into completion. The wall grew paler with each passing until its muddled surface became spotless and new as the day it was built. When Will opened his eyes, he found himself standing in a room full of scared people who were bound with duct tape around their ankles and wrists, their mouths covered with strips of sticky silver. All of which are staring up at him with large bovine eyes, made too round and shiny by panicky fear.

"I line them up like lambs awaiting the slaughter. They bleat at me, begging noises and meaningless muffled threats, the ones that can. Most have gone mute, having accepted their fate. I ignore them all as I go down the line of the chosen. I pull one apart from the herd and string the sacrifice up, hanging the body…no, the blessed container…upside down. It starts to make noise and I silence it, like I silence them all. Their noises are meaningless to me. I hear…I hear something greater, celestial in nature." Will intoned, whether to himself or aloud to the room was up for personal conjecture as he sank further into the killer's mind. If deliriums and delusions came in liquid form, he was wading through them to dive deep, his consciousness slipping under the sticky surface of this killer's sea of madness. It felt like he was drowning, dying slowly in inches as Will sunk beneath dark waters. It seeped into his pores, the slits of his eyes, and the crevices of his mouth and nose, encompassing his body into another's vile, twisted perception like a bug in molten amber.

"He has a delusional disorder." Will bit out like he was gulping for air after breaking the tainted chaos mirror, surfacing momentarily before he was pulled back under by lifeless fingers. He was more talking to himself than the room though now. He needed to do so that he wouldn't suffocate on what was left of himself and lose time.

"I hear…..I hear my God speaking to me. He says to kill them, to use them. I know that I will be forgiven and given my reward in a heaven of my own making so my next actions are unskilled but sure. My hand and will are steady, for my cause is not only just but divine in nature. The blood isn't coming out fast enough though so I shred the containers to make it flow. I need it. I need their liquid life. My God orders it. There are devils in the wall and he has told me to contain them. This is my god's given right to demand this of me. This is my duty. This is my design."

Will's mind reels as he loses sight of light, an ocean of dark closing in on him from all sides, threatening to extinguish his soul's embers.

"He has a delusional disorder." Will gasped, losing air as quickly as he was losing everything else. He could hear Jack reentering the room, the man's presence more of a burden than a beacon to him. He focused his survival elsewhere, listening to the subtle noises of another's breathing. Hannibal had kept his promise to observe. Though he knew he was in the room, Will wished desperately that the doctor was not so honor bound to do so. He was a drowning man grasping for straws, desperation turning rapidly into desolation.

Hannibal observed that Will's words were coming out almost disjointed, like he's making a desperate mental note aloud and was disconnecting while he was doing so. Hannibal was glad he had insisted on staying even if it was dull going in the beginning. Their painter was obviously a fanatic of some sort. The police were calling him an artist but that sort of title was meant to denote talent.

Hannibal considered himself to be an artist. This mess was made from mindless intent though, one man's goal to paint a wall red. Nothing more, nothing less. What drove him to do so would be the only interested part about this scenario. This killer's stage, his canvas, was messy and ruined, an afterthought borne of chaos at best with no real point to it. He saw his victims as nothing more than empty casings or containers, not the malleable clay they could have been. And all the wasted meat left to rot with no purpose left to it. Shameful really when he thought about it.

Hannibal wanted to be here though, needed to see Will's gift first hand. He was tired of milder reenactments played out in his office, the episodes too bland and contained for his mounting tastes. He longed for something fresh, something with teeth, not faded out visions that kept Will awake and walking at night, vermin that dwelled in the back of the empath's mind until Hannibal grew bored with their existence and decided to root them out.

"Jack, we are looking for a grandiose type. Our guy thinks he's god's servant, that he is working under the order and protection of divine providence." Will struggled, the lines of his faces hemorrhage fresh agony to do so. It was like forces were water boarding his mind and Jack was ignoring all the signs, going in for another round as Will tried to revive himself.

"A religious whack job? Any particular theology?" Jack asked, moving to stand beside Will. Hannibal smothered a growl that built up in the back of his throat, threatening to emerge at a most inopportune time.

"His own. God that is….at least his version of god, is talking directly to him or at least he thinks he is." Will muttered, his gaze locked on the canvas of crimson that lay before him as if the it were speaking to him, his blue eyes of storm seeing yet sightless. Hannibal mused that it was a distinct possibility the killer's god was whispering nonsense in Will's ear, reciting a doctrine of menace and anguish to the empath who swayed under its passages.

"Must be nice." Jack snorted and Hannibal was wondered if he should reevaluate his plans for the man. Destroying Jack professionally and mentally was beginning to lose its appeal now that he saw firsthand how carelessly he was treating Will. It was like someone had given Jack a fine sword and he was using it to dig ditches with. His callous mishandling of Will made Hannibal want to flay Jack's skin off of his body slowly in thin strips. He would make efforts to keep Jack awake and conscious of the pain during the entire process with patience, a steady hand and multiple shots of adrenalin. Calming himself with those thoughts in mind, Hannibal kept his mask firmly in place, playing the part of concerned observer still.

"No. No, it's not." Will said, looking pained as he fought to return more and more to himself, his body shuddered from the effort. He wondered vaguely to himself if it won't be an option one day. Will felt like he was fading out but damned if he knew who or what he was turning into, what was going to replace him. "He thinks…no, he believes that the wall is a gateway and that the Devil or something evil is going to come through it if he doesn't keep the wall wet." Hannibal did not care for the sallow pallor to Will's skin or the tremors that seem to start from his core and worked their way outward so that his curls and fingers shook from the force.

"Where are we going to find him? Where do we even start looking?" Jack pressed, ignoring the man crumbling into fragments before his very eyes. Will could rest when they were done here, when they had their killer in custody. Jack was sure Lecter could see it too, the doctor's full attention on Will, when he wasn't giving him hard looks. Jack didn't give a damn about judgments or Lecter's personal opinions about his conduct. He needed answers and he needed them now.

"We don't have to look for him. We clear out and he'll come back here. This is his mission from God. He will feel compelled to come back here to finish his work. All we need to do it draw back and wait for him. He's off collecting his next batch of paint." Will muttered. He wanted to lie down and let this latest killer's dementia seep out of his head like a wound. It was poison, wearing down the last of his nerves, the obsessive chattering of a madman talking to his god in repetitive loops or a god talking to his madman. Will really couldn't distinguish between the two anymore, it was all starting make crazy soup in his head. "You'll be looking for a truck or van, something to do with moving or carpeting more than likely. Something distinctly blue collar. That's how he's getting the people in without anyone noticing, by wrapping them up in tarps and carrying them in one by one. He's be tall, muscular, a laborer in his later thirties…."

Hannibal concern grew as Will's voices threaded out to trail off, the man staring out at them with no one behind him eyes. To his disgust, Jack appeared only annoyed by the disruption, too intent on his task to realize his makeshift oracle was no longer with them. When Jack reached for Will, whether to check on him or in an attempt to revive him, Hannibal decided that he had been patient long enough. He moved smoothly to block Jack, the man startling back like he had forgotten that Hannibal was still in the room with them as the doctor put himself between the two. His hand went to Will's shoulder, keeping him in place but still professionally at arm's length. Hannibal bit back a smirk at both the denial of touch and Jack's poor survival instincts.

"I think that is enough for now." Hannibal intoned, his voice brooking no argument. Jack, stubborn bastard that he was, tried though anyway. In Hannibal's opinion, he acted like a man who was too used to getting his own way.

"I need him to….." Jack attempted, only to find Will being bodily moved away from him, Hannibal guiding Will from the wall with a gentle yet firm grip. The dead had told Will all that they were going to, the empath absorbing all their secrets and pain into himself, whether he wanted to or not.

"You have a description and a solution to catch your killer. Do not be greedy, Jack." Hannibal warned, moving closer to Will to place a hand on the small of his back as he guided him out of a nightmare, at least physically. They needed a quiet space together so that he could unlock Will's head and free him from the oubliette of his own making. At attempt at self preservation, Will was hiding himself away, leaving behind a shell in his wake, the empathy's body like that of a doll's under Hannibal's touch.

To the doctor's inner delight, Will remained pliant and numb the remainder of their journey as well, from scene to car, from car to inside Hannibal's home. The empath let himself be pushed gently into a large ornate chair and positioned to Hannibal's liking. After staring down at Will for a long moment, Hannibal let himself indulge while Will was in such a catatonic state, his touches lingering longer than they should have, exploring more than they ever dared to before.

Despite being unkempt and having only a passing nod with keeping up with appearances, Hannibal found Will's skin to be soft as the tips of his fingers brushed up against an unshaken chin, trailing upward to follow the line of jaw and swell of cheekbones. The cupid's bow of Will's lips was mapped out, the plush quality of his bottom lip tested as well. Will reacted to none of it, his eyes half lidded and unfocused, the man too lost in his own mind to be aware what was going on outside of his prison.

This close to Will, Hannibal could saturate himself in the other's scent, hints of musk, soil, and salt from heat but with an underlying sweetness from rot and fever and tinged with a sourness born from fear and suppressed misery. The doctor leaning in further to scent Will's neck, looming over the unaware as he fulfilled his desire without judgment or suspicion. Giving in just a little bit more, Hannibal tilted Will's compliant head to the side for better access and carefully placed his teeth upon the crook of that fragrant column, having just enough control left to keep himself from biting down. Having felt Will's meat between his teeth, Hannibal exhaled slowly, releasing Will as he reeled himself back in. He decided to take his own advice and not be greedy, at least not just yet. It would mean nothing if Will wasn't present with him in body or mind. He had to lead the man back to the land of the living before they proceeded any farther in this vague twilight relationship of theirs.

Ignoring the wrinkles it caused in his clothing, Hannibal kneeled down in front of Will, his hands reaching up to cup the empathy's still face, making Will look him directly. He drew close enough to him that their noses were almost touching with Will's thighs pressed to either side of Hannibal's waist, snugly framing his body. Looking into Will's eyes was like meeting a corpse, glazed over and inert. It might have been disconcerting to another, but to Hannibal, it was a commonplace sight and easily ignored.

"Will, I know that you are in there. I need you to listen to the sound of my voice and find your way back to me." Hannibal said softly, studying the gemlike hue of the blue gray orbs that held hints of brown around their outer rims and irises. "It is 4:47am. Your name is Will Graham. You are in Baltimore, Maryland. You are safe."

Hannibal kept repeating himself, the words like mantra as he watched pupils begin to dilate and contract, his voice wheedling in past the void and the fog, the self constructed barriers of Will's mind. His words linked together to form a lifeline, one floated on the surface of black water. Hannibal knew it was found when Will took in a gasp of air, trying to fall back away from him only to be held in place as Hannibal tightening his grip on the empath's face, his blunt fingertips digging in painfully under the hinge of Will's chin.

Struggling only for a moment, Will went still again, sagging forward as life left him again, the man still snagged on his lifeline but lacking the strength to pull himself back into safer shores. "It is 4:59am. Your name is Will Graham. You are in my home and you are safe." Hannibal said firmly, feeling heat and resistance arise beneath his touch, coming obediently to his call. Sharp confusion clouded Will's eyes now, better than the catatonic haze from before but still not what was Hannibal wanted from him.

"It is 5:03am. Your name is Will Graham. You are with me and you are mine." Hannibal told him. He didn't flinched when Will's hands found his face to mirror his position though Will was clinging to the doctor, not tying himself down. "Say it, Will."

"It is 5:03am. My name is Will Graham…." the words were coming out slow and painful like Will was pulling them directly from his lungs with hooks from his tongue and teeth. "I am with Doctor Lecter…."

"Hannibal. Say my name, Will. Please do that for me." Hannibal corrected gently, giving Will's head a slight shake. The empath was attempting to look away from him, their direct line of sight painful for Will to maintain but necessary for his self's reemergence.

"I…I am with Hannibal…." Will said thickly, the words feeling too large for his mouth. "…..and I am….."

"Mine." Hannibal finished for him.

"How can I be yours when I don't know who I am half the time." Will floundered, his mental balance beginning to shift and tip over again. Hobbs stood off to the side of them. Will could see him out of the corner of his eye, sense his presence along with all the others that crowded him out of his own mind.

"Will, I need you to look at me. See me. Only me." Hannibal pressed. Will's grip upon his face was hard enough to leave bruises in their wake but he would worry about that later. It wouldn't be the first time he would have to cover up dark marks on his skin and he doubted it would be the last.

Fighting and not even really knowing what he was fighting for or from anymore, it was the scarlet notes in Hannibal's eyes that caught Will's attention first, drawing him in. It was unusual to find in the warm brown that surrounded it, like discovering rubies in freshly tilled earth.

Or spilled blood being soaked up by thirsty dirt. A strangled noise left Will, raw and feral in tone like it was being ripped ragged and bloody from his center, carved out of the marrow in his bones. That which was truly Hannibal and not the meat suit he presented to the world was entering his mind, effortlessly killing the killers that resided there as he took up residence in their place. Like a god returning to his temple, he smited all the pretenders who dared to set up shop there in his absence. Where others had merely visited, Hannibal took up residence, filling Will to the brim to burn out any remnants of those who had been there before. Hobbs died a second time, somehow more permanently than that last, the ghost shredded into little bits of nothingness under the all encompassing presence that bore down upon them all.

Will hadn't even known he was screaming until the noise ceased, disrupted by the ragged sobs that further tore Will's throat apart. The Chesapeake Ripper was just as successful with the dead as he was with the living, Will's head being gutted out from the inside as he came to know Hannibal, all of him.

"See? Do you see me now?" were the words that brought Will back to himself, the man taking in big breathes of air to exhale them noisily through wet nostrils. His vision was filled with sanguine earth, staring him down, making him look.

"Yes." Will whispered, feeling weak. He wanted to curl up in on himself but was being kept in place to face the devil himself. "I see you now."

"Is there anyone else here or in your head?" Hannibal asked, easing himself up over the man as he pressed Will back into the chair. His hands went to the back of Will's head and shoulder, one hand tangling into damp curls while the other rested in the crook while his fingers fanned out to find Will's pulse point.

"Only you." Will murmured, barely hearing his own words as his body was eclipsed by Hannibal's own, the man molding his body to him, caging Will with hard flesh and possessive intent. He was allowed to close his eyes, though it hardly seemed to matter considering all his other senses were being overwhelmed. The light breath play over his skin might as well been a hail storm bearing down upon it. The man above, around, and in him was like his own grave, Will being buried alive even as the truth set him free of all others. His head had never felt more clear.

Will shuddered when cool lips were placed to his rough own, Hannibal tasting of wine and strange, delicate sweetness even at this early hour. Will tried not to think about what he tasted like to the cannibal licking his way into his mouth. Certain words came into play though, Will looking for some sort of distraction from the inevitable. Hannibal's hold upon him was a physically and mentally assured thing. If Will gave up all that now, he knew he would be lost and alone in what was left of his mindscape. He was simply choosing waking insanity over comatose madness.

'Safe' and 'mine' echoed in Will's head, heard over the gruesome sounds of Ripper's murders being played out there back to back on a loop. Neither had ever been given to Will before with such real promise attached to them. Jack had lied to him about being safe and Alana didn't really want to own any piece of him, not like he was now anyway. He might have been a teacup worth possessing at some point but now he was too cracked, glued back together too many times to be shown.

Acceptance worked both ways he realized as Will reacted, deepening the kiss, his hands finding purchase on Hannibal's steady flesh. He was driven forward into it by a desperation so sharp it throbbed with a coiling ache. Will didn't realize how hungry he had been for it until his teeth found Hannibal's bottom lip to latch on it, tearing at and into the cannibal's flesh. Will swallowed down blood like hot wine, devouring a rich taste that he was becoming addicted to, his tongue lapping at the gash.

Dizzy from lack of air, dehydration, and emotional overdose, Will started to laugh against the wounded lips pressed to his own. He was drinking in a killer, and Hannibal was letting him do so. Will drew back enough so that he could look Hannibal in the eye again, finding out that it was not difficult for him anymore to meet that cool gaze. He knew what truly lied beneath those too still waters.

"Mine?" Will breathed out, tentative. This was all still so new to him.

"Yours." Hannibal breathed in. He smiled, letting his mask go.

Will smiled back in answer.