It doesn't take Will very long to piece the evidence together.
Fatigue overcomes him, heaviness and soreness to minor tissue enlargement, dizziness. And then, the nausea creeps along frequently in the morning.
The initial health screening reveals nothing out of the ordinary. He's adjusting to his new quarters, suffering acute sensitivity from his empathic disorder while in close vicinity to other inmates. Or he's possibly experiencing a mild reaction to what they have prescribed him for the encephalitis. But the following prenatal test and lab results deflate that theory.
Just a matter of time.
The physicians do end up arranging visits, with different vitamins and cautionary advice about exercise, scheduling him new diets and counseling…
And if it was possible for him to consider…
No. No, it's really not.
As much as the thought sickens him of an innocent, young life growing inside his weak and erroneous body, Will turns down the offer of using abortion services. Gratefully, tentatively, he accepts the specialists' advice. Enough blood has been shed. And maybe that's what Hannibal Lecter wants from him, for Will to admit defeat, for him to give up.
(He doesn't even remember how…)
It will be a cold day in Hell before that happens.
Dreaming happens less since the official move to a more secluded, but actively guarded holding cell. A month or two into his pregnancy, into his hospital incarceration.
The morning sickness worsens, easier to trigger with smells and tastes, but at least Will can anticipate it. At least he doesn't have to hear the screams anymore from where he lives and sleeps. Any mumbles of death threats. Noises of men acting out on self-induced violence and the rage. Like flash-flares inside his skull.
He still can't prevent the dreams from coming.
A fireplace crackles in the middle of winter. The cabin is warm. His feet are warm, too, covered in plain wool socks without holes.
The glasses slip at the bridge of Will's nose, and he pushes them up with a finger, not breaking the pace of reading his criminology textbook. His laptop opens on a blank document. One of his dogs nuzzles his hip, pushing a damp nose to Will before shifting its head. Winston curls up near the hearth, making a low whine and glancing at his master.
The smell of Christmas used to be mildew boats and the steel of fishing hooks. Now it is store-bought gingerbread and hot cocoa with those tiny marshmallows.
It's mundane and achingly stereotypical.
And he's pretty sure he wouldn't have it any other way.
Even Will's maternity sweater looks like Christmas threw up all over it from partying too hard at a friend's apartment at 3 am.
The knotted, colorful fabric stretches a little too tight to the round drum of his belly, but not to the point of discomfort. It's getting harder, lumbering to his feet and sitting down with ease. Will feels huge in his own body, like he could pop at any moment. It looks like he's going to pop, or at least start his own orbital field to passing objects.
He can feel the baby inside him kicking. It's supposed to feel like gas at first, but he's so far along that the sensation feels weirder.
Will sets down his books on the table and pushes up his sweater, lounging deeper in his chair and resting an open, warm hand on his exposed stomach.
His flesh dents, pushing upwards.
It dents again, stretched, stretched, as if wishing to carve him out. He bursts with an alarming amount of blood and guts, motionless.
Tiny antlers protrude free, soaked and dark in fluids.
Will gasps awake on his cot, heart racing and throat spasming, bathing in his own sweat.
His next prenatal screens go without a hitch. Under close supervision, they allow him to be unstrapped from the examination table, but handcuffed during the ultrasound.
They allow him the chance to see the ultrasounds. All gray shadows, hard to shape together for several minutes, but Will eventually spots the upside-down head. It's rather large compared to the rest of it (the pamphlets tell him it's normal for early months), but smooth. No unusual growths.
A real baby in there. His son or his daughter growing in him.
Out of sympathy, a well-seasoned nurse understands the gleam of oncoming tears and breaks rules by handing him a cheaply thin kleenex.
Will takes it slowly from her, careful to not brush their fingers. He forces his dry lips into something eerie-familiar, pleasant like a smile.
He doesn't see her again.
No one from the BAU contacts Will. For all he knows, Katz is terrified of him.
In truth, with all his limitless imagination, he can be afraid of him.
Jack comes and goes, interviewing him, staring at Will long and hard through the thickened, bulletproof shielding between them. Will doesn't cower at the eye contact. He might have before, but now, he feels no reason to have guilt. He feels light, despite all this darkness swimming around him.
But if Will voiced that to Jack Crawford, it could potentially backfire.
Freddie Lounds had sunk her claws into the juicy rumors of Will Graham's "condition" at Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The media is having a field day.
He secretly relishes the short visitations with Alana, hearing her clear, warm voice, seeing her face even if restrained sadness is etched to her. When her eyes blink away tears, Will longs to touch her cheek. Reassure her that he's coming home. He'll pick up his dogs from her place and they could huddle up to a space heater, wrap themselves in blankets.
As if they share the wonderful thought, Alana's mouth curls into a half-smile.
She grins wider at the confirmation of his pregnancy, her blue eyes scanning for the nearly-imperceptible bump. Alana promises to help build shelves for the nursery in Virginia, to help shop for baby clothes and formula. It's the most excitement Will has seen from her in a long time.
Even while dancing around the subject, she never asks who his partner had been.
(What partner? And really, what non-existent relationship?)
"Does it disturb you?" he asks, quietly.
Alana shakes her head, a curl of her lovely, brown hair falling over her shoulder. "It's not uncommon, you know that," she says, her frown soft.
He shakes his head back.
"I mean… that I have no memory of sleeping with anyone."
"You're the victim in this, Will. Someone took advantage of you."
It's a bigger statement that she understands. Will's mouth twitches, like it wants to tell her this. The overhead speakers buzz piercingly, indicating the end of the visit.
"I'll talk to you again, Will," she whispers, being intently escorted by one of the guards.
His blunt, dirtied fingernails cut into his palms, until burning ache swells.
There isn't a slightest inkling for religion in him.
But it doesn't stop Will from giving unspoken thanks to whomever that his ex-psychiatrist keeps his distance.
Though… it's just a matter of time, isn't it?
He draws clocks in his mind. He would draw them out, with markers and pens and acrylic paint brushes, if Will had been allowed recreational supplies.
He would display them proudly, having re-labeled the numbers on the clocks—big hands and little hands, all pointing to "Go to hell".
Chilton quits the facility and his career. He moves across the country to an undisclosed location, under a protected identity.
The new director is older, sterner. He doesn't attempt to screw with the minds of the inmates. He seems to be a man who knows a lost cause when he sees it. Will meets him once while he's eating, finds the director somewhat lukewarm.
(Extreme bouts of paranoia almost kept Will from eating upon his arrival. The rational fear of puking up another body part.)
His brain swelling recovers, for the most part. He hasn't hallucinated Garrett Jacob Hobbs since the treatment. Hasn't been sleepwalking. They lend him a new jumpsuit, looser-fitting and a plum color instead of the grayish-blue. Something to indicate his pregnancy to others in the hospital administration. His facial hair thins.
The hormones are changing him by almost four months. But it doesn't scare Will, not the pregnancy. Jack Crawford doesn't scare him either.
What does is… a bit more personal.
He doesn't want to be the old man he had, cold-mannered and ignorant of what his kid needs. Will wants to be a better father, despite whether or not he wants to be one at all.
That includes leaving this godforsaken shithole.
Handcuffs rattle at his thighs. Will's head fogged. He feels himself swaying.
The room stifles like heat, air stale-quality. But he's being reclined out on a pillow-soft bed, head touching down gently as someone's hand moves from under him.
Will's eyes crack open, also foggy.
His arms feel too-heavy. His chest. Legs. His mouth tastes funny, not the kinds of funny his medicine would.
(What the hell?)
"I have been advised against seeing you," Hannibal explains, as if they were previously having a conversation. "I have driven us to a bungalow in Eau Claire, Wisconsin." This could be a dream. But on the off-chance it's not, Will can be reassured that shock and the beginnings of intense anger have a reasonable basis.
It takes a moment to get the words out right, with Will's swollen-feeling tongue. "Clearly the logic in this was springing me free with a pending trial and kidnapping me…"
"I asked in a small favor."
The uniformed guy who fed him lunch—so, he wasn't a part of the staff. Will had been sure he was unfamiliar with him.
"Sleeping pills," he mumbles, noting his grogginess.
"A very light dosage, not enough to harm the child." Will stares up at the other man, eyes still lidding. Hannibal's face looks more drawn. Gaunt. The handsome nature of it only a faint glow to his features. The winter jacket unzipping from the top, finely stitched and insulated. Hannibal's eyes wander over him. "How have you been, Will?"
The anger churning in him motivates the rest of his strength to be summoned.
Will lands a solid punch with his right fist, snapping Hannibal's face away from his direction.
He's dizzy from jolting upright and Will's knuckles hurt like a motherfucker. The punch wasn't even at full strength, but hell, it's satisfying.
"Fuck you," Will spits out.
Hannibal turns his face back, composed. The strands of his slicked-back hair tousled out of their arrangement.
"I get the feeling that you have been waiting a long time to say this."
"Feels great, actually," he admits, body trembling and his smile toothy and fierce. "I'm guessing you're my mystery partner if you give enough of a damn to spoil your plans for my death," Will says.
"You would not have died in prison, I assure you."
"Because you were hoping you would get the pleasure, you selfish bastard. Do you get off on this shit?"
"I will tolerate name-calling for now, Will." Hannibal's face darkens as he speaks up, eyes narrowed but focused on the removal of his jacket and folding it over his arm, "But remember that it is a possibility that my patience may run out."
The statement prickles at Will, combining with a curious sense of indignation with his fear and rage.
"I don't CARE!" he roars, face livid. "You framed me! You were going to let me rot in a cell for your murders! You let me…" Will swallows hard, unclogging the rest of what he needed to say, the betrayal dripping venomously. "You knew what was happening in my brain and let it happen. You did god-knows-what to me during the blackouts!"
Hannibal says, matter-of-factly, "I never forced myself on you. I never had to."
A wild, unbelieving laugh chokes out Will's throat.
"You had dubious consent at BEST in fucking someone with a questionable state of mind!" He doesn't hold back the sneering expression or cocking an eyebrow at Hannibal. "Y'know, most people would call that rape, Dr. Lecter." Will then flinches back a moment, spanning a hand over his belly protectively, as a stone-faced Hannibal quickly rises to his feet.
There's not a goodbye as the bedroom door slams shut.
Morning sunlight filters in through sheer, ivory-hued curtains the next time Will comes to on the bed, cheek pressed to the mattress. He rolled in his sleep.
Or someone rolled him.
Easier to figure that out when he's no longer in the state hospital jumpsuit, instead an oversized, red shirt and boxers. The long-chained handcuffs replaced with zip-ties.
Will shuffles himself on an elbow, despite the distended gravity in his center, and manages a sitting position on the bed with some difficulty before standing. With several, practiced motions, wrists harshly smacking his lower back, he grunts out his effort and snaps his hands free from the zip-tie.
He waves off the painful numbing in his arms, exiting the unlit bedroom. Will discovers the kitchen island, slowing his rushed walk, where Hannibal gazes expectantly up at him. "Good morning, Will," he says, patiently, eyeing the pregnant man between setting out two dishes. Will reluctantly joins him, seating down on a low-level stool.
"It's like you expected me to show up."
"I know your capabilities perhaps more than yourself," Hannibal says, softly, cryptically. "Most people can easily escape capture if they set their minds to it."
He gestures for Will's wrists, reaching across the granite-shined counter for them, tutting over the red marks to creamy skin. Hannibal's fingers treat him gently in their examination, and leave delicious tickling sensations. A lump of frustration forms in the back of Will's mouth.
"Was that what that was? Our whole friendship?" A bitter overtone. "I was your experiment?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes. In another… perhaps not." Hannibal's fingers release him. Thank god. Not-god. "I genuinely like you, Will. You intrigue me," he announces, and sometimes, Will imagines he wants to understand what goes around in the other man's head.
(Why was Will here? Why were they here? Why risk exposure? Why risk everything?)
He stares distrustfully at the meal in front of him, nose wrinkling.
"A three-egg omelet with quinoas, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and goat cheese. Very simple to make." Hannibal nods to him. "Eat, you need your strength."
Will snorts, tasting bile.
"What, you still have leftovers of Abigail Hobbs?"
Not even a bat of eyelash at the grim sarcasm.
"I did not think you would appreciate my usual cuisine," Hannibal says. "There is nothing of questionable sustenance in this dish. Lots of vegetables. The child needs it, too."
"You're a pathological liar, what do you take me for?"
The corner of Hannibal's mouth perks up. "One way or another," he murmurs, "you will eat. Even if a feeding tube is deemed necessary."
A chill runs up his spine and into Will's nerve-ends.
He picks up a fork anyway.
There's not much to do but check out the other rooms in the bungalow, along with napping.
Windows and doors locked with a designated master key, unsurprisingly. He shouldn't let his guard down, but it's manageable to get exhausted now from the stress and increasing biological changes within his body. (And how could Will resist the linen-slip, ornate loveseat, plush and inviting to rest his aching feet?)
For a minute, he squeezes his eyes shut and pretends the hand smoothing his bangs from his forehead is obviously more delicate, thinner.
As much as Will imagines Alana in his head, the man-sized hand doesn't transform. It bewilders him that even knowing Hannibal is touching him, it doesn't get rid of the floaty, content response, or makes him want to lean out of the touch. Then again, he trusted Hannibal.
Will hates himself for missing the idea of complacency with his friend, missing how he was dependent on Hannibal.
"Stockholm syndrome is kicking in," he whispers, breaking the silence.
At the sour comment, Hannibal makes a thoughtful, close-lipped noise above him.
He also hates that stupid, blue tie around Hannibal's neck. How it would be so easy to wretch it up and strangle…
Will sucks in a deep, steadying breath, brushing aside the violent urges. He squirms in place on the loveseat, and stops, hands burying to the cushions, when the question hovers. "Have you considered any names?" Hannibal meets his eyes, unassuming, probably fully aware of the slight flushing color settling to Will's face.
"Yeah," he croaks. "I wanted Abigail for a middle name."
"You feel that you are honoring her memory with this decision?"
Will's upper lip curls. "No one else would," he answers.
"What about a first, if the child is a girl?"
"I've only heard my mother's name once from my dad. Janice." Will rubs one of his eyelids, stifling a yawn to his forearm. "I want her to be Jane Molly Abigail Graham."
"Lovely," Hannibal says, smiling thinly.
An eye-roll. "Sure."
"I mean it, Will."
The sincerity there almost feels real.
"Just… fuck, don't try to get on my good side, alright? After everything, it's not going to work," Will says, frowning. "It's Jane Molly, not Jane Lecter."
Too busy staring up with outright defiance, he doesn't flinch this time as Hannibal moves quickly, dropping down to a crouch on the balls of his heels, leveling their faces.
"If you ask me to… I will unlock the front door."
"I can give you the choice to walk away," Hannibal continues on. "Single parenting is not a luxury, but I believe you can get by."
So close to him, Will could peer into brown irises, could read into Hannibal's softening expression.
"… …Would you follow me?" he asks.
"I will always follow you, Will." The words falling from Hannibal's lips are as tender as the flesh of the thumb grazing Will's cheek. "You are my weakness," he admits. "And I did not expect it. I wish to see your purity remain uncorrupted by others. There was a point of time where I thought I could distance myself from you, that I could let you be killed. I could not allow that grievance. I thought I could allow you to take the blame, because it was intended. I found I could not. My life would, truly, be empty without you."
Hannibal's thumb strokes his bottom lip, flicked accidentally by Will's tongue.
"They probably already figured out that you are linked to my disappearance," Will points out, voice strained.
"It does not worry me," he says, and Hannibal's playing some kind of mind game with him and winning—he's winning; Will groans out a semi-protest, his mouth sliding damp over Hannibal's, feeling teeth gently nip to Will's chin and his mouth, like pinpricks. "I would not plan on returning without you," Hannibal murmurs against the spot of bruising.
Will's back arches off the loveseat, his prominent belly between them. His hands push into ash-blond strands of hair and grip tightly.
He won't be able to remember what happened during that blackout, the night Hannibal claims was not a product of forcing. But it must have felt like this. Lust crackling under Will's skin, driving his hips up into Hannibal's grasp slippery with come, being brought to the brink and over. Taking his fill of Hannibal, debauched, clothes wrinkled, shiny blood on his lips.
And he'll maybe regret thinking it, brain idled by hormones and sex, but the color is fitting on him.
Dandelion seeds obscure the meadow like a surrounding mist. Will's dogs chase bugs in the summer air, yapping and barking.
He smiles, cross-legged on a picnic blanket; Alana and Jack sit from the opposite end of the blanket. They laugh quietly to themselves and pour wine into flute-glasses. Abigail Hobbs sits beside him, sending Will a wide, thankful look before climbing to her feet. A little girl is tugging on her hand, wiggling in her lavender, sailor-collar dress.
The two girls chase after the dogs chasing after the bugs, sometimes throwing Frisbees to get their attention. Will stares after the little girl, ash-blonde curls flying to the breeze. She runs around with Will's eye-color, a penetrating shade of blue, and his chin. Her cheekbones are soft.
On her, one of the sweetest smiles he's ever known.
She yells, "Papaaa!" at the top of her lungs, kicking off her little Mary Janes and sprinting down the green meadow.
Her little body transforms into soft, brown pelt from creamy, human skin.
The doe leaps gracefully through wildflowers, trotting up to the giant presence of a stag lowering his head to greet her. She nuzzles herself to him before lifting her animal head, staring unblinking at the picnic scene. It's not dandelions soaring around him.
Flakes of ash, to a bright summer day, and Will cries out—bursting into flames.
He cries out softer than in his dream, quivering awake in Hannibal's arms, clutching instinctively at his bump.
Will's nose drags against naked, sweat-musky skin, to Hannibal's chest and neck as silent tears fall. His partner consoles him, petting his back, petting curls of brown hair.
He's scared about everything… getting thrown back into another loony bin, about the baby, about doubting Hannibal. About getting hurt again.
It'll take time.
The Baltimore Police Department receives a phone call at 10pm, from the cell-phone of a woman sobbing incoherently.
Will Graham's dogs had been taken, likely hours before Alana Bloom had returned home.
No one can find a trace of evidence.
The next time Will sees that stupid, patterned-blue tie neatly arranged around Hannibal's neck, it's still stupid to him. And he's still kind of mad.
Because, it's just not the same as red.
WARNINGS: gaslighting, dub-con/non-con, non-graphic mpreg, abduction, and gore. Now you can start at the beginning.
EDIT: Thank you for expressing your concern and being at least semi-polite in asking for a more accurate warning label in summary. It is now pointed out that it's towards the bottom of the fic.
NBC's Hannibal is not mine. This was based off a fic exchange between me and Alexis (sweetforbiddenlove on Tumblr/FFN). She's faaaantastic and shares my kink-love. My deep, dark secret secret secret kink-love. NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. It's wonderful when you strike a chord with someone who shares your interests. -hugs- AND YOU ARE SO FORGIVING FOR ALLOWING ME TO PUT OFF THE RELEASE DATE. THANK GODDD. She asked for: "Hannigram, Mpreg!Will, angsty with a happy ending." And I tried reeeeeeeeeally hard with a happy ending, but ya know. I hope everyone enjoyed reading. Thoughts/observations are eternally appreciated!