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Title: By Any Other Name
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
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 grimaced and bit back a soft moan as he lowered himself onto his living room couch, kicking off his shoes and leaning his head back against the cushions. The dogs, sensing that something was wrong, came to lay at his feet, looking up at him with worried eyes.
He'd thought that he wouldn't make it through the day, that he would have to excuse himself and leave the scene of the crime they'd been investigating. He was so horribly sore by the middle of the day that there had been a few times he'd wanted to scream.
He'd managed to hide that pain he was in -- barely.
The worst thing had been when Jack had noticed -- even though Will had tried to turn his attention away from the fact that he was limping slightly.
That conversation still brought a blush to his cheeks.
"What's wrong with you?" Jack had asked, raising an eyebrow in question. "You don't look like you got in a fight, but you're walking like you are." He indicated Will's limp as the two of them walked back into the hallway of the house they were in. "What happened?"
Will hadn't wanted to answer, but he hadn't had much of a choice. It wasn't like he could lie and say that there was nothing wrong with him. "I, ah, tripped down the steps. Turned my ankle pretty badly. Don't worry, it'll only hurt for a couple of days. I'll be fine."
"Looks to me like you're having problems with something a little higher up than your ankle," Jack had replied, lifting a brow again and glancing pointedly at Will's ass.
Just thinking about it made him groan with embarrassment; Jack had obviously known that he'd been up to something the night before. While he was sure that Jack wouldn't think any less of hm for being intimate with a man, he definitely wouldn't approve of that man being Hannibal Lecter.
For some reason, he had the feeling that Jack didn't like Hannibal very much.
He didn't know why Jack would dislike Hannibal; after all, he was the one who had insisted that they go to Hannibal for help in catching some fo the killers they'd been after. But there always seemed to be an undertone of dark disapproval whenever Jack said Hannibal's name.
Will shook his head, blinking, feeling disoriented. He had slept well on Hannibal's couch last night, but the busy day -- as well as the events of this morning -- were catching up with him.
He closed his eyes, letting himself fall to the side, resting his head on the two soft pillows on one end of the couch. He wouldn't sleep here all evening, of course -- he would get up and eat something, and then go to bed and hope that he could fall asleep again.
He would only rest for a few minutes ....
Will didn't know how much later it was when he was awakened by an insistent knocking at the front door; he blinked blearily, peering at the clock as he reached for his glasses. Two hours had passed since he'd last looked at the clock; he must have been more tired than he'd realized.
He got to his feet slowly, still wincing; he would probably be even more sore tomorrow. After he found out who was at the door and sent them away quickly, maybe he'd soak in the tub for a while. Or take a long, hot shower -- which he probably needed anyway.
He didn't bother to look through the peephole before he opened the door; whoever it was, he would just tell them that he'd had a rough day and didn't have time to socialize.
Will pulled open the door .... and stood there gaping in amazement.
There were no less than six people standing on his front porch, all carrying huge bouquets of flowers -- sweet Williams, to be exact. Pink, purple, red -- the flowers seemed to leap out at him in the fading light of early evening, the riot of color dazzling his eyes.
"I .... I didn't order these. There must be some mistake," he managed to say, turning to the man who had knocked on the door and was holding a delivery slip out to him. "If somebody sent these, you've got to have the wrong house. Nobody sends me flowers."
"Looks like you're wrong about that, Mr. Graham," the man told him with a smile, his voice cheerful. "I think somebody did send you flowers. A lot of flowers."
"All of these are for me?" Will blinked again, feeling as though he had woken up in the Twilight Zone. Who would be sending him flowers at this time of night? It wasn't his birthday, or any kind of special occasion, so this had to be a mistake.
But the delivery man was shaking his head again.
"No, these are definitely for you. There's no mistake," he said firmly. "Now, where do you want us to put these? We've got some other deliveries to make -- can't hang around here all night. Just tell us where to leave them, and we'll be out of your hair."
"Ah .... on the coffee table is fine," Will managed to reply, standing back so that they could all troop past him with the flowers. He had no idea what he would do with them all.
He didn't close the door when they left, instead going out onto the porch as the delivery van drove off. Whoever had sent these flowers had thrown him a curve ball that he hadn't expected -- though he was starting to have an inkling of who might have done this.
No, Hannibal wouldn't send flowers. That wasn't his style. He wasn't that kind of man; he might do something like that one a special occasion, but not for no reason.
It couldn't be Hannibal. With a soft sigh, Will went back into the house, closing the door behind him and staring at the profusion of bright blooms. The scent was heady; he was sure that the house would smell like Sweet Williams for days, even after all the flowers had died.
His head jerked around when another knock came, this one louder and more insistent than the last.
Who the hell was this? Will almost felt angry as he stepped back to the door, yanking it open. Words were on his tongue, sharp, cutting words that he had every intention of speaking -- until he saw who was standing there in the waning daylight.
"W-what are you doing here?" The words slipped out before the could stop them; he stood back, waiting for Hannibal to step into the room.
He did so, unbuttoning his coat and tossing it over the back of a chair. "Ah, I see that the flowers arrived," he said with a smile, turning to Will. "I hadn't intended to send them, but .... I felt that I should apologize to you for being far too rough with you this morning."
"No apology required," Will told him, unsure of what else to say. "I appreciate the flowers, but you didn't have to go to so much trouble."
"Ah, but I did." Hannibal stepped towards him, laying his hands on Will's shoulders and leaning close to him before those hands moved down, Hannibal's arms sliding around his waist to pull him close against the other man's body, those lips so close to his that he could feel Hannibal's soft breath.
"A sweet William by any other name would still be as sweet," Hannibal murmured, his lips barely brushing Will's mouth. "But as lovely as they are, the flowers can't begin to compete with you."
He was dying. He couldn't breathe, couldn't speak.
And then his arms were around Hannibal's neck, pulling him closer, and the scent of sweet Williams was all around them, blocking out everything else. There was only Hannibal, those arms crushing him against that lean body, those lips claiming his.
He was dying, and he didn't want to be brought back to life.
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