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Title: Heartfelt Gift
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "For the Moment."
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 couldn't keep back his curiosity as he followed Hannibal into the living room. Just what could this man have gotten him for Christmas?
Hannibal had said that he'd gotten him more than one gift. That made him feel relieved, as he'd gotten the other man more than one thing, as well.
But he couldn't begin to imagine that Hannibal could have chosen for him.
He would laugh if Hannibal had decided to refer to their private joke about his aftershave, and gotten him a bottle with a ship on it. That would be like him.
Though somehow, he didn't think that Hannibal would be doing that. Not tonight. He might have gotten a gift as a joke, but Will felt that tonight would be more serious.
He settled into one of the plush, comfortable chairs in the lviing room, sitting back and waiting. Hannibal moved to the bar, taking down two glasses and filling them with ice cubes, then pouring a fair amount of Scotch into each one before bringing a glass over to Will.
Will took it from him with a nod of thanks and took a sip. "You weren't lying. This is really fine Scotch. I could get spoiled rotten if I had this too often."
"You deserve to be spoiled, Will," Hannibal said softly, taking a chair across from him and crossing his legs. "You work too hard most of the time. You deserve a bit of relaxation."
Will couldn't help smiling a little wryly at that.
If only Hannibal knew how hard he'd been working lately. It seemed that the Chesapeake Ripper was striking out more often now, and keeping him busy.
His head was always filled with thoughts of the Ripper; he was unable to push them away and to think of happier, more relaxing things, as Hannibal advised him to do in their sessions.
He was always tense and nervous these days; tonight felt like the first time in ages that he'd actually been able to let himself relax and forget about his work for a while. Maybe that was because he was going into the Ripper's mind more and more often lately.
"Will, relax," Hannibal said, his voice very soft. "You're thinking of your work again. I can tell. I don't want tonight to be a night of 'shop talk.' This is your time off. Enjoy it."
"It's hard to stop thinking of work," Will said with a sigh, sipping at the Scotch again. It really was excellent. "But I'll try. I just .... have a hard time focusing my thoughts elsewhere these days."
"Perhaps you would like to focus them on opening this," Hannibal said softly, getting to his feet and going to the tree that was by the window, the lights blinking cheerfully. He selected one of the brightly wrapped packages under the tree, then handed it to Will with a smile.
Will hardly knew where to begin; he didn't want to just tear into the package, as Hannibal had taken the time to wrap it nicely. He settled for unwrapping it slowly, from the back.
When the wrapping was off, his blue eyes widened in surprise. The gift in his lap was something that he had always had an interest in, but had never bought for himself.
He knew that it was heartfelt, something that Hannibal had chosen carefully.
The gift was a beautiful leather-bound edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, something that Will had told Hannibal he'd always wanted to read.
He'd already read a few of the stories here and there, and a couple of the short novels, but for the most part, the writing would be new to him.
He looked up at Hannibal, at a loss for words. "Hannibal, thank you. This is beautiful. It's something that I've wanted to read for a long time, but then, you knew that." He smiled over at the other man, feeling a blush rise to his cheeks. "Now I feel really bad that I didn't bring one of your gifts."
Hannibal waved a hand in the air, smiling. "Think nothing of it, Will. I'm sure that I will be able to unwrap plenty of gifts when I come to your house over the holiday season."
There it was again -- the knowledge that Hannibal would come to his home, that they were going to share some quiet, private time in the country, away from the rest of the world.
It was a heady, almost intoxicating, thought.
But that would come later during the holiday season. For tonight, he was here, in Hannibal's home, and he would be spending the night here.
Will wondered if Hannibal would come down the hall and peer into his bedroom during the night, to check on him and make sure that he was sleeping. The other man knew that he didn't sleep well, and the thought of Hannibal looking in on him made butterflies start to flit around in the vicinity of his stomach.
With difficulty, Will forced himself back into the present moment. "I have more than one gift for you there. It might take a while for you to unwrap them all."
Hannibal smiled at his words. "Then perhaps I should stay the night there."
Oh, that thought made the butterflies speed up their incessant fluttering. Will swallowed hard, trying not to let his unruly thoughts run away with him.
He looked down again at the beautiful book in his lap, a smile curving his lips. He would read the first of the stories in this heartfelt gift tonight, and the thought of who had given it to him would never be far from his mind.
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