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Title: The Desire Within
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: 20 in 20 Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: 14 - Eating
Authors Note: Sequel to "Happiness."
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.


"This is really good." Will looked across the table at Hannibal with a smile. "Thanks for inviting me over, Hannibal. I'd a lot rather eat your cooking than mine." He grimaced before continuing. "If you can call nuking something out of a can cooking."

"You don't take proper care of yourself, Will," Hannibal told him with a frown. "You need to be more careful about what you put into your body."

I'd like you to be in my body. The thought came unbidden to Will's mind, bringing a burning blush with it. He could feel his cheeks redden; the air in the room suddenly seemed to become much warmer, charged with an electricity that hadn't been there before.

He lifted his gaze, his blue eyes widening as his eyes met Hannibal's.

There was a small smile on the other man's face, almost a smirk. It was as though Hannibal knew what he was thinking -- and approved of it.

Did Hannibal somehow know what had just coursed through his mind? Will wouldn't be surprised if he did. Somehow, this man seemed to know everything about him -- or at least about what he was thinking. It was uncanny how he could manage to reach into Will's mind.

That knowing gaze made him uncomfortable; he didn't like anyone, not even Hannibal, knowing so clearly what was in his mind. It felt like an invasion of sorts, one that he wanted to move away from. He wanted to cover himself, to hide his mind away.

With Hannibal, that wasn't such an easy thing to do.

He had let this man get inside his mind, thrown open the windows of his world and invited Hannibal to see inside. It wasn't as though he could simply close those windows now and refuse to let Hannibal look any further. He'd opened the door, now he had to deal with it.

He looked down at the food on his plate, taking another bite. Eating somehow helped to steady his nerves, to make him feel less .... exposed.

"What is this?" he asked, wondering why he hadn't done so when they'd first sat down at the table. "It's good, whatever it is." He took another bite, savoring the flavor of the food. Hannibal was always an amazing cook, no matter what he might decide to make.

Hannibal raised a brow, smiling at him.

"Braised lamb shanks with caramelized onions and shallots," he answered, raising a napkin to his mouth. "I'm glad you like them, Will. I don't generally cook for more than one person unless I'm hosting a dinner party, and I enjoy cooking intimate dinners."

Will's breath caught as Hannibal intoned the word "intimate." His heart began racing in his chest, pounding so hard he was surprised that the other man couldn't hear it.

Was it his imagination, or was there something more .... intimate hidden behind those words? Many people said that eating was a prelude to sex in some ways, and this dinner certainly felt that way. It was as though they were edging towards intimacy, moving slowly but surely.

He wanted to speed that intimacy up a little, but he didn't know how.

How could he turn this from a simple friendly dinner into something more? And was he really ready for more? He thought he was, but the idea of being completely intimate with Hannibal, of baring himself completely, body and soul, still frightened him.

But if he wanted to be with Hannibal -- and he most definitely did -- then it was a step that he'd have to take sooner or later. He couldn't keep backing away.

So maybe tonight was the night that he should take matters into his own hands and make the first move. It was just so hard for him to do that. His issues with intimacy ran more deeply than he wanted to admit; they held him back, made him cautious.

He had to break free of those bonds once and for all.

Hannibal got up and moved to stand behind Will's chair; Will assumed that he was going to take away the plate, and replace it with whatever he had made for dessert. But instead, he did something completely unexpected, something that Will had only dreamed about.

Hannibal's hands moved to his shoulders, massaging them, easing away the knots of tension that had been forming there all evening.

"You're terribly tense, Will," he said softly as his hands moved to work at the base of Will's neck. "It's as though your body is knotted. You need to relax. Hopefully, a slight massage will help. If you don't mind my being so bold."

"Not at all," Will managed to whisper, closing his eyes and leaning back. He wanted this touching to go on forever; if Hannibal stopped now, he was sure that he would fall to the floor in a dead faint. The desire within him began to uncoil, threatening to break free at any moment.