Will found himself walking down shadowed halls of polished black stone, their dark faces heavily covered with lush tapestries of the woven past. He was lost, wondering into places he did not recognize. In the midst of his waking, it took Will a moment to realize that he was not alone in any sense of the word.
The feathered stag was at his back, breathing down his neck, and at his side a new addition, a pale hound pacing his slow staggering steps, the canine's fur silvery white and its eyes a shining icy gray blue. His other side was escorted by Lord Lecter. Will wasn't certain about any of his company's reality though. For all he knew, he could still be dreaming. That was all he had done since coming to Chesapeake Rock.
"Hello Will." Hannibal said, his arm crooked around Will's own like they were taking a pleasant midday stroll through a garden instead of wandering around in the dead of night with only light of full moon, stars and tamed night eyes to guide them. "Where are we going tonight?"
"You tell me." Will muttered. Chesapeake Rock was said to nearly rival even the likes of Harrenhal in size, the keep having nearly thirty hearths within its expansive confines. It was well over a month since his arrival but Will still couldn't navigate the labyrinth like halls and stairwells without help, much to Master Zeller's amusement. Will's exploits were known to all thanks to Lady Fredricka's tattling about it to everyone. Embarrassment aside, the nights held a certain dread for Will thinking that he might wander off one evening and never be heard from again. Or else they would if Will ever slept by himself.
Though he had been allowed his own chambers for personal use during the day, Hannibal had made it clear that Will was to spend his nights in his Lord's bed and company. It turned out to be more of a blessing than a hardship for Will though. Since his arrival to the keep, he had spent very little time actually in Hannibal's bed. The burdens of his gift had only gotten heavier upon his arrival to Lecter's keep.
"Was I sleepwalking or did I lose time again?" Will asked quietly, grateful that he could. It was a small blessing but he was allowed to be himself here. In Wolf Trap, Will had had to hide his gift or more accurately, the negative aspects that came from its use. His father and everyone else wanted something unique but not the ugly price that came with it, one that Will had to pay. They demanded gems of insight and prophecy yet spurned the fertile earth of the mind and tired flesh they came from.
Though he missed his dogs and the familiarity of his room, Will was beginning to appreciate aspects of his new life. Hannibal treated him kindly, never with harsh judgment when Will would fall into one of his trances and ramble on for as long as he was under. If anything he seemed to encourage it, talking with Will for hours afterward about what he had seen and heard no matter nonsensical it was with no fear or trepidation in his voice.
"Your eyes were closed but I do no think that you were sleeping. Not awake though either." Hannibal said, sounding very alert for being up so late. Will wondered how long they had been walking. His sore feet informed him it had been a while.
"I try to avoid sleeping. Best way to keep the nightmares away." Will sighed, despite himself leaning into Hannibal. He was allowed, one of the few that were.
"A wise plan." Will couldn't tell if Hannibal was being sarcastic or not with him. Probably not, he decided. Hannibal treated him with the utmost respect and deference, reprimanding and even punishing anyone who did not do the same. It was unsettling to Will after a lifetime of struggle and judgment.
Looking over at the man beside him, Will grew more certain with every weary step that Hannibal was real as the stag and hound began to fade away, the animals falling back behind them to wander off elsewhere. Part of Will felt sad to see them go but it did give him a chance to glance over intermittently at Hannibal's profile undistracted. The Lord was as poised as always, even by dull cosmic illumination, though his features were made more severe by them. Looking made more of bone than flesh, Hannibal smiled slightly, letting Will know that his fleeting observations had not gone noticed. The seer was grateful it was dark as he felt his cheeks and tips of his ears begin to burn.
"Are you really going to marry me?" Will asked, the question weighing on his mind. It seemed easier to ask it now than by the light of day. The promise had been made but as of yet was still waiting for completion, no date or septon called forth for it. A slight nudge at his elbow guided Will back down a side corridor that looked familiar to him for once. Stomach and throat tightening at his timing, Will realized they were almost back at Hannibal's chambers.
"Yes." Hannibal said, opening the door for Will before leading him inside, his grip light on Will's elbow.
"I'm a man." Will informed him, helpfully and helplessly as he was brought over to the bed. He was sat down upon it, watching as his lord filled a basin with water from pitcher, Hannibal always keeping one full in his room. One of Will's bare feet were taken into gentle hands as a soft cloth was swiped across their soles. The other foot was given the same treatment, the pair released only when Hannibal was satisfied with their state of cleanliness. In the beginning, Will had found level of attentiveness embarrassing but now he accepted it calmly, familiar with his lord's quirks.
"I've noticed." Hannibal sounded amused as he pressed Will back into soft bedding rich with down and velvet. After disposing of the implements, he soon followed the seer, stripping down to his bare skin without hesitation. Will watched him though he made no move to remove his own clothing.
Will let himself be arranged, Hannibal's arms wrapping around him as his back was pressed up against the wall of Hannibal's chest. When he was pleased with their positioning, the lord released him long enough to cover them both with velvets and furs.
"I do not care about that." Hannibal said, nestling closer.
"What about heirs for your house?" Will pressed, trying to ignore the lips that grazed the back of his neck and failing miserably at that as he shivered in response. After all this time, Hannibal had yet to take his right from Will's flesh, the lord seeming more pleased with soft touches that lingered long enough for Will to feel confused and uncomfortable. He had a feeling that was going to change soon though. The demonstration of his power at his first dinner here seemed to have escalated Hannibal's affection toward him for some reason. Most people were adverse to Will's gift at best, fearful of it at worst. Being liked for it was something entirely new for Will in his experience. All their time together was in a sense a dance of wordplay and growing tension, the two men watching each other closely as they circled one another, snake and mongoose, waiting for a falter or misstep.
"I have no need for them." Will heard Hannibal murmur behind the shell of his ear. The seer made himself not react to the tingling sensations the breathe play over the delicate skin caused.
"That….makes no sense. What do you plan to do? Live forever?" Will snorted, amused by the lord's lack of planning. It was unheard of for a man of Hannibal's position to not have a heir lined up to continue his house.
"Yes." Hannibal answered simply, pulling Will closer to him so that the seams of their bodies snugly met.
"This is a dream." Will sighed, fighting with what weapon he had at hand even if it was as flimsy a sword as denial. He tried to ignore the warmth of the body at his back and the lack of clothing upon it. Since he became aware of his sleep walking at an early age, Will took to the habit of going to bed wearing a decent amount of clothing, usually a tunic and loose fitting pants. Hannibal had no qualms about such things though, the man holding him so close completely naked, his pale skin looking like carved moonstone in the dim silvery light.
"No. You and I are very much real and you are awake." Hannibal told him firmly. Will arched his back when teeth found where his neck and shoulder met, sharp teeth sinking into the flesh there. His fast breathing made odd stuttering sounds as the air was forced out through his teeth. Will shook, feeling Hannibal's leg come between his own, a firm thigh pressing up against the underside of his genitals and stay there, applying steady pressure.
This was finally happening and Will couldn't bring himself to fight it. What little he did know of Lord Lecter, Will was confidant that Hannibal would stop if he asked him to. It was just a feeling but Will was sure of it though he had no reason to be. The problem was that he didn't want Hannibal to stop. After a lifetime of imposed solitude, of people being too afraid to even touch him, it seemed like a miracle or a fantasy to have someone actually want to. All the time he had spent here was nothing but foreplay between them, soft touches and kind words that caressed Will's body and mind.
Rough hands were pushing and pulling off his clothing, Will realizing belated that those hands were his own tearing the material off of his body in haste. His headache was back now along with the raven stag and pale hound, the canine lying beside the bed as the stag loomed over them on the other side.
"Then why is the stag and hound back?" Will gasped out, his breath feeling too hot for his own mouth as he pressed back against the force that was Hannibal.
"Would you like me to send them away?" Hannibal asked, releasing his bite to nuzzle the back of Will's head, his nose burrowing in fragrant curls to scent a unique sweetness that was only seer's.
"Wha…can you do that? How?" Will asked, curious about so many things. Hannibal was acting like what he was seeing was real. Even more so, he was even offering a solution for getting rid of the visions that plagued him. This experience was beginning to become more surreal, to the point Will was sure it was his own mind's fiction. Good things just didn't happen to him, not like this. Despite his growing fear, a seeping wetness told Will that he was bleeding and he was awake, his shoulder and chest beginning to be striped with crimson.
"The same way that I can call you back from the bone cage of your own mind." Hannibal said between laps, his tongue flat and wide against Will's flesh as he cleaned up the mess he had made there. Will moaned as his body was cleaned by a too hot tongue, spreading a wet heat across his skin that seeped down deep to settle in Will's belly.
"That's not an answer. Not a real one anyway." Will sighed. "When will the septon arrive?" Though it seemed ridiculous to ask that now the way things were progressing so rapidly between them. Something had been sparked between them and now it could not be denied by either.
Hannibal's hands were now longer barred over Will, their presence upon his body wandering downward to grip at narrow hips and caress the flat plains of Will's stomach. The low thatch of dark curls there was found, fingers curled through it and tugged, making Will moan softly in response. Even lower still, his cock was explored and considered, muscular hands palming over his engorged length to squeeze it gently. Will got the impression it was an unasked question, Hannibal seeking permission even as he took from him, Will's neck wet with his own blood and Hannibal's saliva.
"Never. I do not keep company with the seven." Hannibal told him as they waited for Will to make his decision. Seeing no point in putting off the inevitable, the seer pressed his hips back with a roll, finding an answered hardness waiting for him there, one that dappled his back with sticky strands of slickness.
"Why?" Will asked in surprise, turning his head to try and look back at Hannibal. The corner of his mouth was claimed and kissed, a dry brush of flesh against his own. Will found himself being pulled on top of Hannibal as the Lord turned to lay flat on his back, keeping Will's own to his chest. Hannibal was only a little bit taller but Will was built leaner so it worked out in a way that Will could now feel the other man breathing beneath him as he was laid out on top of Hannibal, the pulse of his heartbeat against his own working in time with its pounding. The thick length of Hannibal's cock pressing up against his balls felt too hot, too much for Will.
"I have no use for lazy, useless gods." Hannibal murmured, his hands spreading Will's legs to feel between them, the tips of them wet with oil, the smell of the lubricant sweet with spices that warmed and tingled when it met skin. Will felt embarrassment that he had missed anything, having been distracted elsewhere.
"Careful. Hubris is a looked down upon by more than one god." Will warned, hissing when blunt fingers found their way into him as his flesh was gently but firmly parted.
"By the seven perhaps, not the old gods. They give power to people who truly desire, have the courage to ask for it. Would you like that power, Will? I could free you. Give you back your power." Hannibal offered. His movements were slow and measured even as he reached a hand up to grip Will's swollen cock. Nimble fingers were slicked with beads of precome, rubbing the slippery clear liquid over and around a too sensitive mushroom tip. Will gasped, curving his back as he was filled and pulled at in tandem, Hannibal's soft, calm voice filling in everything and everywhere else.
"Yes but what monster would I become? You don' t know what your asking." Will tried to argue, tried to explain why that would be a bad idea, but his body was betraying him as per usual, the dark creature that lived in its Will shaped cage doing what it wanted without his say. Then Hannibal touched a spot deep within him causing Will to swear to any gods listening that he would do anything that was asked of him if Hannibal would just touch him again there.
"I have an idea." Hannibal said, sounding amused by Will's reaction, the seer groaning as the stimulation was withdrawn and the hand on his cock stilled, the dead weight of it searing hot.
"You said the old gods give power to those who ask for it. What did you ask for?" Will asked, because this was a test and a game for and of them both really. Will had no idea what they were ultimately playing for but if he quit now, the outcome could be fatal.
"You already know the answer. You only need to remember it. Ask the right questions and you shall have it once again.." Hannibal murmured into his ear, the world holding still for Will as he did so in return.
"I want to be saved." Will tried to form words for his desires. It was an honest answer, at least partially. It was enough to merit a response as he felt himself breached, the tip pressed into him and held there for a long drawn out moment of breathlessness on both their parts.
"Only the weak need to be saved. You are not weak." Hannibal told him, sliding in until he was hilted to the root, ignoring all of Will's cries, the soft pleas dying on the seer's lips as he was opened and filled all at once by brutal movements.
"I want to be like other men, my mind and my dreams my own." Will gasped out even as his teeth rattled, his mind trying to make sense of all that was happening to him. There was pain and discomfort but pleasure as well, the kind that felt like a slow burn building itself up in his veins to an inferno with the right kind of spark found at his center. Will was his own worst enemy, accepting all the good and the bad that Hannibal forced upon and in him.
"People are sheep. You can not keep pretending to be something that you are not." Hannibal said firmly, thrusting up as he took hold of Will's hips to press him down. In counterpoint, Will braced himself with heels and hands, his feet digging into the furs to find purchase while he reached behind to lock his fingers around silvery brown hair.
Hannibal's body was an alter made of marble turned flesh and bone. He was being speared upon it, what he was and what he was meant to become sacrificed to his lord as promises were kept. The stag and hound now stood at the end of the bed, watching them with clear eyes of wet onyx and pale star sapphire. They stood witness to their marriage.
"See?" the raven stag asked Will in a voice made from the sounds of flesh being cut from bone, hushed and wet.
"See?" the winter hound asked Will in a whisper that sounded like his own.
Hannibal was larger underneath him than before, his flesh black as ink, sinewy to the touch, and made of sharp angles. Long fingers tipped in curved claw worked over Will's flesh, making little cuts upon him when they were seemingly careless. The seer turned his head to look at Hannibal and not, his lord's face black as pitch now and distorted, an ebony pair of antlers curving out from his head. The lord of Chesepeake Rock and horned god of the white wood bared its fangs at Will in a familiar smile.
"I do." Will answered and he did, his mind completing itself. They were wed, a blossoming warmth deep inside him told Will that he was claimed, marked, and mated. His lord, his lover, his other echoing that sentiment on his neck, the new indentations of his teeth washing Will's pale skin with bright crimson as Will was fed upon. Will came this way, locked in constraints of fang and flesh, his back arching off the sacrament that was his husband as he gasped out riddles of thrones, kings, and crows.
"I know who I am." Will whispered to the shuddering dark as the shadows rose up to meet them in their bed. Will looked out on with new eyes of star sapphire and was not afraid of them as black feathered arms wrapped around him, pulling him under. It felt like he was fading away but Will was alright with that. He wasn't alone anymore.
"I see you."
"I hear a song of ice and fire, the music of coming war seeping into the land to make it freeze, bleed, and burn. The fire will come from the West on dragon's wing and the ice will be from the North in the footstep of old gods reawakening. Many shall die but the few that survive will become legend. This is the world's design."
Will opened his eyes to find everyone staring at him. He looked back unafraid, meeting eyes fearlessly with his own.
"That is for the world of men and the way of kings." Hannibal nodded, rising from his seat. He offered his hand to Will who took it without hesitation.
"Are we not apart of that world?" Will asked, his brow furrowing. This was all still new to him. His vision had been so clear and vivid, the kingdoms of the world set as a stage and the players within them moved into position, ready to play out their parts big and small. Things were already being set into motion as a litter of dire wolf pups was discovered beside their dead mother and a silver haired girl was being sold by her mad brother for a throne he would never see.
"Only if we choose to be." Hannibal smiled, a flash of teeth in the dark. "Come, beloved."
The hall was all in ruin around them now, trees and other vegetation growing within its broken black walls. Only animals inhabited its crumbling splendor, the people of the place long ago gone to ground. A weasel and a boar kept each other miserable under the watchful eye of a golden owl. A fox paced around the edges, hiding here and there when it thought others were watching it. A pair of wolves, a father and daughter, lost interest in the entire proceeding and left to run through the woods. A raccoon, an otter, and a squirrel all kept company with one another, bickering at each other, loudly enough to annoy the badger. It wandered off as well with a fat gopher in tow.
All that remained in the once great hall was the raven stag and the winter hound. Will stretched long his new spine, wagging his tail as he snapped his jaw playfully up at the Hannibal who deigned not to react when his hooves were nipped at. He strode off with antlered head held high, Will running on ahead on his new padded feet, enjoying the fleetness of them. They entered into their kingdom of ancient godswoods, blood colored eyes watching the return of the old and new lords of the bone forest.
Winter was coming.