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Title: This Doesn't Have To Be Love
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: 3, narrative_x_10
Prompt: Story 04
Author's Note: Sequel to "Claiming the Prize."
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Hannibal Lecter or Will Graham, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Will blinked, turning over onto his back to squint at the sunlight coming through the window. He had a hard time believing that he was here, in Hannibal's bed, that he had actually spent the night being made love to by the man he so ardently desired.
Hannibal wasn't in bed; Will could only assume that he had already started his day. He sat up, rubbing sleep from his eyes, wishing that he had clean clothes to change into.
Ah well, he didn't, so he'd have to make do. He slid out of bed, stretching his arms above his head. Catching sight of himself in the mirror, he moved closer to it, studying his body in the bright light of morning to see if he looked any different.
To his surprise, he didn't.
He'd thought that he might look different the morning after the first time he'd had sex, but he looked exactly the same. His body didn't appear to have been changed in any way -- well, except for the slight soreness between his legs that he knew would fade.
For the moment, he treasured that feeling of soreness -- it had been given to him by the man the loved, by the joining of their bodies. He couldn't regret that. And really, there had only been a few moments of pain that had quickly been superseded by exquisite pleasure.
All in all, his first time had been eminently satisfying. So much so that he could hardly wait to do it again -- though he doubted Hannibal would be ready for that quite yet.
Somehow, he didn't think the other man would be as eager to make love again as he was. After all, this wasn't a new experience for Hannibal -- he'd had sex before. A sudden stab of jealousy shot through Will, a scowl settling onto his features.
How many other people had felt like this after a night with Hannibal?
He struggled to push that jealousy away from him; there was no reason to feel like this. Anyone who had been with Hannibal in the past was firmly left behind in that past; he was absolutely sure that his lover didn't have anyone else in his life.
If Hannibal was involved with anyone in any way, he kept it well hidden -- though Will didn't believe that for a moment. Hannibal wasn't the kind of man who would hide something like that; no, he would have any relationship out in the open for the world to see.
Hannibal wasn't the sort of person who would be involved with anyone he wanted to hide. He wouldn't be ashamed of his relationships, but proud of them.
Which was why their relationship might be problematic, Will thought with a soft sigh. He was, after all, a patient. Though not technically, not really. They would find a way around the fact that Hannibal had been unofficially treating him.
Hannibal wasn't his psychiatrist. Hannibal was his lover.
His lover. Those words made Will's heart soar; he hadn't expected to be saying them. He hadn't thought that Hannibal could possibly feel the same way about him; he'd thought that he would have to love from afar, that his feelings would always be unrequited.
But after what Hannibal had told him when they had been making love, he knew that not only were those feelings returned, but they burned just as strongly for Hannibal.
You are mine, Will. He could still hear those words in his mind, as clearly as if Hannibal had been standing right here behind him, whispering them into his ear. Yes, he was Hannibal's. He always would be. Those words were nothing more than the unvarnished truth.
You belong to me. Not just for tonight, but for all time. He wasn't going to argue with those words; they had been exactly what he wanted to hear. Hannibal owned him; Hannibal had claimed him, and he had no desire to refute that claim.
He wanted to be claimed. He wanted to be owned. To be loved.
Hannibal hadn't said a word about love. Will frowned at the thought, his brows drawing together. Why hadn't he said those three little words that meant so much? Was it too soon for him? Or was it because he didn't feel love, only desire?
No, that couldn't be the case. Hannibal wouldn't have been so gentle with him if there wasn't love involved. He had to believe that Hannibal cared for him.
Sighing, Will reached for his jeans and shirt, getting into his clothes as quickly as he could. This was a subject that he and Hannibal needed to discuss this morning. It wasn't one he looked forward to, but it had to be tackled.
What if Hannibal wasn't in love? What if last night had only been a pleasant interlude for him, one that he wanted to keep happening, but one that would be devoid of any feelings other than desire and a kind of friendship? That wasn't what Will wanted.
He wanted love. He wanted .... commitment.
He loved Hannibal. He might as well admit that right now. He'd desired Hannibal since the first time they had met; there was an electric charge between the two of them, a spark that could turn into a raging flame at any given moment.
Hannibal felt it, too. He was sure of that. Last night wouldn't have happened if there wasn't desire on both sides. But love? That was another matter.
Will made his way slowly down the stairs, taking a deep breath once he reached the bottom. He could smell the aroma of coffee permeating the house; Hannibal was obviously in the kitchen, probably waiting for him. Well, it was time to talk.
When he entered the kitchen, Hannibal's back was to him; the older man was cooking eggs and sausages, concentrating on what he was doing. Will simply leaned against the door frame, watching Hannibal, admiring the grace of his movements.
What had he done to deserve this man?
He didn't have the answer to that question. He only knew that last night had been magical for him, and that he wanted it to happen over and over again, preferably for the rest of his life. He couldn't imagine not having Hannibal in his life as a lover. Not now.
After last night, his perceptions about everything in his life were turned upside down. He'd had what he thought could never be his -- but it remained to be seen whether he could hold on to it or not. Or whether Hannibal wanted him to do so.
if he didn't, then Will knew his heart would be shattered into tiny shards that could never be put together again. He needed Hannibal to want him.
It didn't have to be love. It was enough for this to just .... be. For them to be together, for whatever they had between them to grow, for them to learn more about each other with each passing day. They didn't have to put a name on it.
This was theirs and theirs alone, by whatever name they chose.
No, this didn't have to be love. Maybe it shouldn't be love, not this soon. They were together, and that was enough. He wasn't sure about what their future would bring, but whatever it was, he was ready to face it. He just hoped that Hannibal wanted their future to be together.
If that wasn't so, then he would be disappointed, and he would be hurt. He couldn't deny that. He wanted his first lover to the be one he would spend his life with.
But it that didn't happen, then he would survive. He would pick himself up, dust himself off, and put the pieces of what he knew would be a shattered heart back together again. He might never find another lover, but he would keep on living.
Will opened his mouth to speak just when Hannibal turned around, the skillet containing the eggs in his hand. "Good morning, Will," he said with a soft smile. "I thought I might have to come upstairs and wake you. Or bring you breakfast in bed."
"That would have been romantic," Will murmured with a tentative smile.
Hannibal put the skillet down, moving over to where Will stood. He slid his arms around the younger man's waist to pull him close, kissing him with an unexpected passion.
"I would like nothing better than to take you back to bed at this very moment," he whispered into Will's ear, the words sending a shiver down the young man's spine. "But first, we should eat -- and then we can think about making love again, hmmm?"
No, this didn't have to be love, Will told himself as he relaxed into Hannibal's embrace. But if this wasn't love, then it was something that came very, very close.
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