50-Hold my hand so he gets jealous. Hannigram? Hannibal seeing an ex??? Let your inspiration run loose
Hold my hand so he gets jealous.
It wasn’t often he could talk Will into coming to one of his dinner parties. As a matter of fact, this was the first time, but Hannibal planned for many more times after this. But given Will was coming, the guest list had to be thoroughly scrutinized. He cut down the attendance by half, rearranged the seating to ensure Will wouldn’t be stuck next to anyone too curious, and then turned his mind to how best to make himself sparkle and gleam in Will’s eyes. Appear as more than just his therapist.
And it was in this frame of mind that Hannibal put in a call to an old acquaintance.
“Hannibal Lecter!” Jeremy’s beaming, honeyed voice streamed over the telephone, “It’s been quite some time, I had the feeling you were growing bored with me.”
That would be an astute feeling. Hannibal smiled to himself, “Of course not, Jeremy. You know the beautiful has always been of keen interest to me.”
Jeremy laughed in what he thought passed as casual intensity, instead of terribly flattered. “You haven’t seen me in years, Hannibal, you don’t know how true that is,” he smirked, “But you never start a conversation without a purpose, who can I thank for your dulcet tones in my ear today?”
“I’m hosting one of my dinner parties a week on Friday and I was very much hoping I might request you to accompany me,” Hannibal forced the words through an empty grin.
Jeremy inhaled, taking a moderately long pause to consider the bait before snapping it up. “Well, I can’t say I’m not surprised, Hannibal, since it’s been so long, but…” Jeremy licked his lips, “I would be more than happy to attend, especially for you.”
Hannibal’s lips twitched, “I can’t tell you how gratified I am to hear that. It will be my pleasure to receive you in a week then.”
Perfect. A little jealousy never hurt either.
“Hannibal!” Jeremy’s smile entered the room first, followed by his sharply tailored midnight suit and a gift of Hannibal’s favorite Chianti, “What’s all this about? I feel like I’m the only one here.”
“I just wanted you all to myself,” his lips thinned as he smiled, taking the Chianti straight the kitchen. A slightly dangerous ploy with Jeremy, who was apt to take things too seriously, but melting him down, perhaps getting him a little tipsy, would only be to Hannibal’s advantage when Will came.
Will stood at Hannibal’s step over an hour later, a small wrapped box in one hand, his coat in the other.
“I was almost afraid you’d decide not to come,” Hannibal smiled, opening the door.
“Miss an appointment with you, Dr. Lecter?” Will smiled weakly, “I can’t afford to anger my therapist. The cancellation fees alone…”
Hannibal chuckled, taking his coat and hanging it up with care, “Not Dr. Lecter, I’m only Hannibal tonight.”
“Is this uh… strictly ethical? Me seeing you socially?” Will straightened his glasses, surveying the already gathered crowd and surmising he was close to the last to arrive.
“Strictly, you are not my patient and I see nothing unethical about asking a friend to my dinner table,” Hannibal came to stand next to him, cocking his head approvingly. Something gold glittered in Will’s hand. Hannibal bent to inspect it.
“Oh! Here,” Will thrust it out suddenly, face contorting with embarrassment. “I didn’t want to come empty handed so uh… I didn’t know what to get so… it’s fudge,” he ducked his head, mumbling, “There’s a little shop out in Wolf Trap that I like so I got you some. Hope you’re not allergic.”
Hannibal tenderly accepted the gift, “Will, it’s-”
“Hannibal!” Jeremy swept in, flinging an arm around Hannibal’s shoulders, curling a little too close to his neck, “Surely it’s nearly time to eat, we’re all starving!” His fingers just brushed Hannibal’s collar, “Who is this? I don’t believe we’ve met before.”
Will stood stock still, eyes narrow behind his glasses.
Hannibal cleared his throat, pocketing the fudge, “Jeremy, yes of course, this is Will Graham, a friend of mine from wildlife conservation. Will, this is Jeremy, an old friend of mine.”
“And perhaps I will be a new friend again soon,” Jeremy winked, then held a hand out to Will, “So glad you could come.”
Will shook it, hesitating, “Me too.”
“I apologize for my timing, but I’m afraid Jeremy is quite correct, the feast is long overdue, Will,” Hannibal paused to nod to him, “please excuse me, and do be seated.”
Hannibal wound through the crowd into the kitchen, Jeremy behind him, wondering, “Since when are you for protecting wildlife…?”
Hannibal tried not to watch Will too carefully at dinner, not to completely ignore his other guests, or let too much on to Jeremy, who was apt to pout and dramatize if he felt slighted. Still, even when looking at Jeremy just to his right, Will was still in his line of sight, over Jeremy’s head and down several chairs, Will’s thick brown curls absorbed in his plate, his eyes occasionally slipping over his glasses to mutter a cutting remark to his neighbors. Hannibal’s mouth twitched at every half-heard comment and correction.
His eyes reluctantly returned to Jeremy who was holding court on recent literary criticism and the latest trends of the American novel. Not that it wasn’t fascinating in its own way, but Jeremy was such a different cut than Will, loud, flashy, stylish. His hands flew through the air as he talked, his eyes sparkled, clear and uncomplicated. His hair was an unfortunately over-refined mimicry of Will’s, Jeremy’s black curls, oiled and combed, falling over his face just so, in the most attractive way possible, and yet… it was all so dull, so styled, so… deliberate. Hannibal found himself disaffected by the comparison, stupefied by Jeremy’s vapid vacancy. Whatever personality he’d had had been mined out long ago to make room for all that wealth and beauty.
Will glanced towards them and Hannibal broke into a wide smile, laughing at Jeremy’s witticism that he hadn’t been listening to. He took up Jeremy’s hand, lacing their fingers together, abruptly cutting him off short. Jeremy turned to him in pleased befuddlement and Hannibal bent close, “Don’t turn, he’s watching.”
Hannibal pressed his lips to the back to Jeremy’s hand, smiling just so, and whispered in his ear. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Will turn back sharply, lifting his cutlery once again. Hannibal sighed and turned away from Jeremy.
“Wh-what was…?” Jeremy murmured, confusion brewing between his eyebrows.
“Nothing, my dear Jeremy, nothing at all,” Hannibal returned to his own plate, gently slipping his fingers out of Jeremy’s.
Hannibal cleared the dishes for the first course and started to prepare the second. The door to the kitchen swung open and his head lifted, eyes widening to see Will walking through, a determined look on his face.
“Will?” Hannibal stepped back from the oven, wiping his hands on a towel.
“I was just getting a refill of water,” he explained, shaking the glass in his hand and making for the tap.
“No no, please,” Hannibal stepped forward to unscrew a new bottle for Will.
“That’s really not-”
“I insist,” Hannibal explained, taking the glass from Will and pouring him a refill, “the minerals from the tap will change your palate and throw off the flavors of the next course. I really must insist you cleanse with this.”
Will humpfed but accepted the glass. “So you and Jeremy are close.”
Hannibal raised an eyebrow, returning the bottle to the refrigerator, “We have been, in the past.”
“He seems to think it’s the present,” Will turned to him, tapping his fingers against the glass.
“He is… very pleasant company, sometimes,” Hannibal smiled slowly.
“If you mean he’s as uninteresting as he is pretty, then yes,” Will snapped, gulping some of his refill reflexively, “He can’t really interest you.”
Hannibal swallowed, “He might.”
Will looked up at him and met his eyes, shaking his head, “No. He doesn’t. Whatever you see in him, it’s not his mind you’re attracted to.”
“How can you tell?” Hannibal murmured, eyes dilating.
“Because you…” Will stopped, flushing. His eyes shot to the floor and he stepped back, “Not that it’s any business of mine who you invite to your parties, Dr. Lecter.” Taking his glass, Will turned out of the kitchen.
Hannibal deflated, but his heart still pounded. Jealousy did work wonders.