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Title: The Next Step
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #539, Step
Aurhot's Note: Sequel to "Giving Thanks."
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.


It was past time for them to take the next step.

Will closed his eyes, curling up under the covers of Hannibal's bed. He was naked, vulnerable, feeling more exposed than he ever had. But he wasn't going to turn back. He needed this; he needed to put his relationship with Hannibal back where it had been.

He'd insisted on spending the night with Hannibal; he'd done it several times since Hannibal had rescued him, but they hadn't yet resumed their physical intimacy. They had come close, but Will had always pulled back at the last moment, unable to move forward.

He wasn't going to do that again, he swore to himself. Tonight, he would cross that barrier, and put the past behind him for good.

That might be more easily said than done, and he knew it. But he was going to push his fears back and let Hannibal do whatever he wanted tonight. If that included making love to him, then he would let it happen. He wasn't going to try to stop it.

He couldn't keep shrinking back, couldn't keep being afraid of intimacy. If he did, then that was letting the man who had kidnapped and violated him win. He didn't want that, not for him, not for Hannibal, and not for their relationship. They deserved better.

Tonight, he was going to let go of the past and walk into the future.

It might not be easy, but he would do it. And Hannibal would help him. His lover knew what he needed, and he was sure that Hannibal wouldn't let him down.

He could hear Hannibal walk into the room, even though his back was turned towards the door. He had known that Hannibal was moving down the hall without hearing his soft footsteps; he could somehow always sense his lover's proximity.

He knew when Hannibal was close to him. There was some kind of current of recognition that constantly flowed between the two of them; it was an instant awareness.

His lover approached the bed, pulling the covers back to reveal Will's nudity to that dark gaze. Will rolled over onto his back, trying to smile. "I know you didn't expect this, but I thought it was about time we .... got things back to normal."

Hannibal looked down at him, those eyes sweeping over his body, that gaze unreadable. After several long moments, he nodded, slipping under the covers next to Will.

This was it, Will told himself. This was the first step.

This was a step he had to take. If he didn't, then he would regret it for the rest of his life. He might not have the courage later. It had to be done now.

Are you sure that you're ready for this, my sweet?" Hannibal asked him, his voice low and soft, almost like a caress. "I had intended to work up to it, but you are right. It's been far too long since we last made love, and I want to take us past that hurdle."

Will could only nod, his mouth going dry. That was what he wanted, to get past that hurdle, to break down that barrier and sweep it away.

Hannibal's hands were on him, moving down his body.

Will closed his eyes, giving himself up to that gentle touch. He loved how Hannibal's hands felt; no one else could possibly touch him so gently, yet with so much passion. No one else could make him feel the way Hannibal did.

There was no one else for him. There never had been, and never would be. The thought of being intimate with another person made him shudder.

He only wanted Hannibal. No one else. There was no one else in the world who could match Hannibal, no one else who could ever follow him. No one else was worthy.

He knew what Hannibal intended to do; he knew from the moment that Hannibal reached for the drawer of the bedside table. Hannibal was going to make love to him, and Will wasn't going to say no. He was going to enjoy every moment of what passed between them.

His gaze followed Hannibal's hand, watching him take the tube of lubricant from the drawer and coat his fingers with it. Will's breath caught in his throat, his blue eyes widening; in just seconds, those fingers were going to be inside him, opening him, preparing him.

It felt like this was his first time all over again -- but then, he hadn't known what was coming. This time, he did. He knew what exquisite pleasure it brought.

He needed to relax, he told himself firmly. Relax, lie back, and let Hannibal love him. There was nothing to be afraid of, no reason to be tense or nervous.

This first time together after all that had happened might not be easy, but he had to face that chasm and make himself leap over it. He had to conquer his demons and slay them, and with Hannibal's help, he could do it. He would do it. Tonight. Now.

It was time for the barrier between them to come down once and for all.

He couldn't hold back a gasp when Hannibal's fingers entered him, but he relaxed almost immediately as the pleasure began to mount, spreading throughout his body.

Hannibal was a master of the art of touching, he thought, his hips arching upwards as those long fingers expertly massaged his prostate. There was such delicacy in his touch, such a wealth of erotic knowledge at his fingertips.

The exquisite sensations were already starting to feel overwhelming; Hannibal must have sensed that fact. His fingers slid out of Will, leaving him empty, aching for more.

He knew that within a matter of seconds, he would get what he wanted.

When Hannibal lifted his hips, he held his breath, knowing what was coming next. His body tensed, waiting for the inevitable, his breath, even his heartbeat, suspended in time.

And when Hannibal slid inside him, he released that breath, letting his body go limp for a moment, feeling the full impact of what it was like to be entered after going so long without it. It didn't hurt, as he had feared it might. No, it felt entirely right.

This was where he belonged, where Hannibal belonged. In each other's arms, their bodies joined as one, each of them loving the other.

There was nowhere else he wanted to be, no one else he wanted to be with. Hannibal was his one and only, his life, his heart, his soul, his all. The man who had so brutally victimized him couldn't take that away from him. He hadn't been able to come between them.

No one ever would. He knew who he belonged to, belonged with. This man who was thrusting into him, taking him, filling him, was the only man he ever wanted to be with.

The only man he would ever willingly give himself to. The only man he would ever love.

Each thrust lifted him higher into paradise, each moment full and perfect and full of bliss. Why had they waited so long to do this again? They shouldn't have. He should have jumped right into this after everything had happened, to reassure himself. To feel .... safe.

To feel .... loved. Because he did. Every movement, every thrust, every touch told him that Hannibal loved him. The way their bodies joined wasn't just physical; it was a joining of hearts and souls as well as their bodies. There was more to them than just the physical.

Maybe no one else would believe that. Will didn't care what anyone thought. All he cared about was that he and Hannibal were here, together, loving each other.

When his climax came, it flowed over him, molten lava spreading through his body. He could feel Hannibal release inside him, feel his lover's body spasm and relax on top of his, the knowledge that Hannibal had taken such pleasure from his body only adding to his own satisfaction.

They were still one, still together, in spite of all that had happened. They were closer now than they had been before; nearly losing each other had made their bond stronger, brought them closer. It had made him realize just what he had.

And made him all the more determined never to let it go.

Will relaxed under Hannibal, sighing softly when his lover rolled off of him and pulled him into those strong arms. The first time was over. A barrier had fallen.

This had been the next logical step for them to take, and he didn't regret it in the slightest, Will thought as he curled up in Hannibal's arms. It was what they'd had to do to get their relationship back on the right track, and it had been past time for that to happen.

He didn't know exactly where their relationship was going in the future, but at least now he knew they had a future. One that he hoped would be bright.

He held onto that thought as he drifted off into slumber.