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Title: An Honest Answer
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "All in Good Time."
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 didn't feel like anything Will had ever experienced before.

Maybe because it was like nothing that had ever happened to him before, Will told himself wryly. Trust Hannibal to come up with something completely different.

He couldn't let the other man see just how frazzled he was; he didn't want Hannibal to know that the near-kiss had made his heart begin to pound like a triphammer. He sat back, taking a deep breath and forcing a smile, trying to look cool and composed.

Hannibal didn't look as though he was the least bit moved by how close they had been only a few seconds ago as he picked up a knife to carve the chicken.

The other man looked calm, cool, and collected -- while Will felt as though his heart was racing at triple its normal speed, and he was so hot and bothered that it felt as if his clothes were suddenly too small for his body, that they were sticking uncomfortably to his skin.

This was ridiculous, he told himself firmly. This was nothing but a friendly picnic -- Hannibal had said that himself. He didn't need to make a big deal out of it.

But somehow, it felt like more than it seemed to be.

There was really no reason for Hannibal to be here; Will didn't think he'd just decided to pack a picnic lunch and drive out hee on the spur of the moment. No, this felt as though Hannibal had planned it out, as though he wanted some specific outcome from this day.

Will glanced at Hannibal as the other man continued to carve the chicken; just what did he expect out of this day? What was he after?

He wanted to ask, but somehow, that seemed .... well, disrespectful. What if Hannibal had no more motive in coming here than just what he'd said -- for them to have a picnic and enjoy each other's company? If that was all Hannibal wanted, then he'd sound foolish.

And if he wanted more .... well, then they could move forward cautiously, and see what happened. But Will didn't want to openly ask for more.

"You look so confused, Will," Hannibal told him, his tone almost amused. "If there is something that you want to ask me, then feel free to do so. We aren't in a session. There is no need to hold yourself back. I am completely at your disposal."

Will raised an eyebrow, unsure of whether to believe that or not.

"If I asked you something, would you give me an honest answer?" he queried. "Or would you just manage to skate around the subject?"

Hannibal sat back, seeming to contemplate the question. It seemed like a long time before he ventured an answer; Will waited with bated breath to hear it.

"Yes, I would give you an honest answer," Hannibal finally said, his voice quiet. "It's what you deserve -- and what I myself deserve, as well. I would not want to taint this day, or our growing relationship, with a lie, not at this early stage of things."

Relationship? Will could hardly believe the words he had just heard. He almost wanted to ask Hannibal to repeat them, just to be sure he had heard correctly.

Hannibal considered them to be in a relationship? How could that be? They'd never even kissed, or discussed how they felt about each other. How could he --

"I do consider us to be in something of a relationship, Will," Hannibal told him, his gaze fixed on Will's face as he spoke. "How could we not be? We are more intimate, in some ways, than people who are sharing their bodies. We share our minds."

Will couldn't really argue with that; Hannibal was right. He did share his mind with this man, and in some ways, Hannibal knew him more intimately than a lover would.

But he wanted more than that. He wanted that knowledge to move from the space it was currently confined in to a more physical plane of being. He wanted them to be truly intimate.

How could he tell Hannibal that, without seeming .... well, desperate?

The simple answer was .... he couldn't say anything. He would simply keep his mouth shut and see just where this would go, what Hannibal intended to do. So far, he hadn't really shown any desire for anything but just what he'd said he was here for.

Except for those few moments where Will had sworn Hannibal was going to kiss him, when the other man's breath had been so soft on his skin ....

He forced himself to wrench his mind away from those moments; it had been an aberration, apparently, as Hannibal hadn't made any reference to it, or seemed to want the act repeated, or even followed through on. It had been a moment of madness, for both of them.

Still, he couldn't help but feel disappointed. Their lips had been so close; he had almost been able to taste the sweetness of Hannibal's kiss.

He could certainly imagine that sweetness, what it would be like to be gathered into those strong, muscular arms and held close against that lean body, his head tipped back, Hannibal's mouth plundering his until he either cried out for him, or passed out from pure sensation.

Will was fairly sure that it would be the latter, rather than the former.

He was silent as Hannibal put chicken, brie, and potato salad onto a plate, then cut and expertly buttered the bread before handing Will his plate.

The cork in the wine bottle popped off, and Hannibal poured the sparkling liquid into a goblet. Will couldn't help but think that Hannibal did everything with that touch of expertise; he wondered what this man would be like as a lover, if his expertise carried over to intimacy.

He was sure that it did. But though he wanted to find out, he still didn't quite have the nerve to bring up the subject. It felt too uncomfortable, as though he'd be taking this a step too far.

He watched as Hannibal filled his own plate, then began to eat, appreciating the food. Hannibal always had exquisite taste, he had to admit; to him, this wasn't a picnic, but a feast. To Hannibal, this was probably no more than a small gesture, one that he could shrug off.

Will wondered how long it would take Hannibal to bring up the subject of just why he was here; sooner or later, he had to give some indication of his intentions.

When Hannibal put his plate down and looked over at him, Will waited for the words to come.