Hi! Prompt if you'd like it: Will finds an embarrassing secret of Hannibal's post-S3.
Hannibal had a row of cookbooks lined up on a shelf to the side of the kitchen. Will didn’t think he’d ever seen Hannibal use them. Hannibal cooked out of his prodigious memory or, occasionally, out of a sense of creative whimsy. Perhaps the cookbooks were merely a nod to aesthetics: this was a kitchen, which was cooked in, and ergo there should be cookbooks: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking; the 75th anniversary edition of The Joy of Cooking; Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking; even a vegetable cookbook called Plenty.
Will had flipped through two of the cookbooks and was leafing through a third when Hannibal came up behind him and wrapped his arms around Will’s waist. Will was used to this behavior by now and startled very rarely.
“Do you have a craving?” Hannibal murmured, peering over Will’s shoulder. Will was looking through a Mexican cookbook titled Oaxaca al Gusto. He was beginning to wonder if Hannibal bought cookbooks based on the complexity of the recipes; this meatball recipe had you cook two kinds of meat, chop them by hand, and then reformulate them into meatballs.
“Just getting an idea of my options,” Will replied. He turned a few more pages while Hannibal nuzzled Will’s neck. Here was a recipe for a soup with swiss chard, orzo, and chicken livers. It sounded a little weird, but in an interesting way. At least it didn’t look like it would take the better part of a day.
“That one is good,” Hannibal said. “Browning the pasta beforehand is an unusual step, but it adds a lot of flavor.”
“Yeah,” Will said absently. It was getting hard to think; Hannibal had reached up under Will’s shirt, smoothing his palm over the scar on his abdomen.
“Did you look in the Singapore cookbook?” Hannibal was speaking open-mouthed against the side of Will’s neck now, his breath hot against Will’s skin. “There’s a fabulous recipe in there for chicken satay.”
“No,” Will said; he wasn’t even sure he could pick out Singapore on a map. Then something clicked. “Wait–are you turned on by this? Me looking through cookbooks.”
Hannibal didn’t reply right away. Will twisted around in Hannibal’s grasp, trying to get a look at his face. Hannibal didn’t look embarrassed per se, but he did look rather caught out.
“Oh my God,” said Will.
“I can’t help but feel affection toward you when you demonstrate an interest in my passions,” said Hannibal.
Will had thought that all of Hannibal’s passions were rooted in–or led to–murder: the fine food, the fine art. It was his way of transforming ugliness into beauty. But Hannibal enjoyed beauty for its own sake too, perhaps. Enjoyed Will for his own sake.
The idea moved him enough that he turned around to kiss Hannibal properly. They stayed there for a few minutes, kissing, until finally Will said, “Fine, let’s make this weird soup. I think we have all the ingredients.”