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Title: New and Different
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Will Graham/Sherlock Holmes
Fandom: Hannibal/Sherlock
Rating: PG-13
Table: 9, 50ficlets
Prompt: 02, Cuddle
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.


Well. This was certainly something he'd never done before.

Sherlock closed his eyes, feeling a little disoriented. He wasn't sure of just what he should do, now that Will was weeping in his arms.

He'd never seen himself as someone who could comfort others; he had always felt extremely awkward when people showed their emotions around him. But this wasn't just anyone. This was Will, the man he loved. He couldn't turn away from this emotional outburst.

He already had his arms around Will; all he could do was pull the other man closer, raising a hand to stroke his hair, to try and offer comfort.

"Will, it's all right," he found himself saying, uncertain as to just where the words were coming from. "You've been through a terrible time, and it's only natural that your emotions are close to the surface. But that's all behind you now, I promise."

Sherlock hoped that he was telling the truth. He wanted the bad times to be behind Will; he didn't want his boyfriend to deal with any more stress and worry.

Will had dealt with enough of that to last a lifetime.

"I-I'm sorry," Will managed to whisper, looking up at Sherlock with tears on his cheeks. "I don't know why I'm losing it all of a sudden. I shouldn't be."

"Of course you should," Sherlock said softly, reaching for a box of tissues on the table beside the couch and using them to gently wipe Will's tears away. "You've been through so much, Will. And you've been so strong through it all. You're entitled to a bit of a breakdown."

He wrapped his arms around Will, pulling him close, closing his eyes as he rested his cheek against the silken softness of his boyfriend's hair.

Cuddling with someone on the couch. This was new for him.

But as he held Will close against him, Sherlock had to admit that he liked the feeling. He liked knowing that he could bring comfort to someone he cared for.

He'd never thought of himself in that way before. He had always been the person who stood on the outside looking in, away from all the emotion, holding himself aloof. He'd always thought was where he belonged; he'd never been comfortable dealing with emotions.

But everything was different with Will. This man turned his life upside down, made him see everything in a completely different light.

Maybe he would have been upset about that a few months, even a few weeks, ago. But now that he'd been able to open his heart to Will, everything in his life had changed.

He still had a difficult time dealing with emotions in some ways. He wasn't completely comfortable with them yet, at least not with other people. But with Will, it was easy to let his own feelings out -- and to accept the emotions that Will showed to him.

It was new, and different, and a little scary. But at the same time, it was a growth experience, one that he knew he needed if he wanted this relationship to flourish.

Softly, gently, he stroked Will's hair, holding him.

Cuddling like this was something he'd never thought he would do -- but then, he had never thought that he'd have anyone to cuddle with.

Again, Will had changed everything in his life. This man had given him so much; the least he could do was offer comfort when Will obviously needed it. If Will needed to cuddle and be held when he was having an emotional crisis, then Sherlock would be here for him.

Besides, it felt good to cuddle with Will. Just having his boyfriend in his arms, feeling Will leaning against him, made him feel strong and capable.

Knowing that he could give someone comfort made him feel good about himself.

It was a side of himself that he'd never really let out before; he hadn't been sure that it had even existed. But Will had brought it out, front and center.

And if cuddling on the couch was what Will needed, then that was what he would have, for as long as he might need it. Sherlock felt that he could sit here all day with Will in his arms, simply holding him and being close. He felt strong, protective, ready for anything.

He pulled Will closer against him, suddenly feeling that he wanted to protect his boyfriend from everything in the world that could possibly cause him any pain.

It was impossible, of course. He couldn't protect Will from every little thing; he couldn't wrap the man he loved in cotton wool and keep him completely safe forever. But somehow, it seemed that cuddling like this might be a very good place to start.

Sherlock closed his eyes, holding Will close against him. He was sure that he could get used to cuddling like this. He already knew that he liked it.

And maybe, in time, he would even grow to be good at it.