Chapter 2/? - SS Edmund Fitzgerald
[Please note: this is a current and active WIP. Eventual Will/Hannibal.]
Hannibal doesn’t want him to help with lunch, and he would probably feel less shaky sitting down, but he can stir a damn pot. He can stand by the stove and warm his hands and concentrate on little else.
Every time Will blinks, he is looking up at the totem and icy wind off the water slices at the back of his neck. He finches at the feeling of thick blood flecking his face. But Hannibal stations himself next to Will, thin-slicing things and busily chopping, mashing, mixing… juicing. Whatever else. He explains the steps and Will can’t hang on to the timeline or the words. He takes up the wooden spoon and stirs the noodles in their bubbling water. He puts it down and lets the rhythm of Dr. Lecter’s speech wash over him.
The pot is warming and the body near his is warming and the knowledge that he can stand here and make himself at least minimally useful, even when he feels weak and broken, is warming, too.
Hannibal slices a tomato, fresh and glistening, salts it with a dash and hands it to him.
This isn’t Will’s idea of a tasty snack, but Hannibal is saying something about appreciating pure things for what they are. Fruit of the vine. Salt of the earth.
Will changes his focus to the taste, consistency, burst of flavor, texture. He appreciates this, thin skinned, wet, and red, for exactly what it is.
Hannibal smiles at him. He points to the pot.
Will gives it a stir.
Lunch is deceptively simple for how much work Hannibal puts into it. Sauces from scratch, sausage he says he hunted all around town for, far and wide, vegetables lightly cooked so they can be appreciated near enough to their natural state.
Every plate is beautiful. A composed gift for the eye and the palate. Water and then coffee. A quiet meal while Will mourns his missing hours and learns to accept the control he has just decided to hand to Hannibal.
It’s hard to accept a vulnerability as it sits, naked and exposed between them like this.