Telepathy soulmates???? That would be so messed up with Hannibal!!
He’s always known there was something wrong with him. Well, he wouldn’t call it wrong himself, he’s just fine, but other people - “normal” people (whatever normal even means) would shudder at the images that live inside his brain. So he learned at a very young age - a too-young age - to hide the darkness inside him.
(He hoped against hope he would never find his soulmate, but if he did he would be prepared).
He taught himself how to project pleasant thoughts - how to squirrel away the nasty ones, the impulses to cut and destroy - how to smile on the outside and fool the world. And he believed that if or when the day came, he could fool his soulmate as well.
But, he thought, how likely would it even be that a monster like him could find a soulmate? Was he even capable of love himself?
Then the day came, a seemingly ordinary day, when he found himself in a harshly lit office with Jack Crawford in front of him, a man he’d just met beside him, and four words struck in his head clear as a bell.
He is so beautiful.
And Will Graham’s entire world changed.
Don’t let him hear you.
Hannibal starts at the words that slip into his mind unvoiced. He looks at Mr. Will Graham - this heavenly, angry creature with eyes cut from crystal - and thinks It can’t be.
And Mr. Graham just raises an irritated eyebrow at him and thinks Apparently it can.
Hannibal is not prepared. For once in his meticulous life, he is completely unmoored. He hadn’t allowed for this eventuality. Soulmates weren’t for him, he’d decided that years ago. Fate, apparently, had decided other things.
He needs to get away before he loses himself in Will’s mind entirely. He can already feel the sticky web of it pulling him in and - oh - oh, what a beautiful, deadly boy.
“My card,” Hannibal hands it to Will by way of introduction, and leaves the room. Jack sputters irately after him and he hears Will yell, “you got me a fucking shrink?!”
Will makes an appointment the next day.
Then he cancels it.
He makes another appointment for the following week.
He cancels that one as well.
He makes a third appointment, but this time Dr. Lecter’s secretary transfers him directly to her employer.
“I - hello, I was calling to make–”
“I should inform you that I have a cancellation fee.”
“I’m not going to cancel.”
“You cancelled the last two.”
“I had… emergencies.”
“It’s fortunate I’m not there to tell you you’re lying.”
“I think you just told me I’m lying.”
“Hm. I think I did. When would you like to see me?”
“I don’t want to see you.”
“That, at least, is truthful.”
Will smiles at the other end of the line. Why is he smiling. Why the fuck is he smiling?
“Tomorrow at 7pm,” Hannibal says, “do not be late.”
“I won’t,” Will replies, and means it.
They spend the first fifteen minutes of Will’s appointment thinking aggressively about the weather in complete silence.
Finally, Hannibal clears his throat.
“This won’t do.”
Will shifts in his chair and rubs at the three-day-old stubble on his face.
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Technically you don’t have to say anything.”
Will laughs without mirth. “Yeah, and that’s not fucking terrifying or anything.”
“Why does it scare you?”
“Oh, God.” Will bangs the back of his head against the armchair. “Why did my soulmate have to be a psychiatrist?”
Hannibal’s smile curls from his lips to his eyes. “You believe I’m your soulmate, Will?”
Will arches an eyebrow.
Can you hear me now?
“Then it’s not a question of belief,” Will says. He gestures between the two of them. “Proof is in the pudding.”
“You’re doing an admirable job of keeping me out, I must say.”
“As are you. All I can glean from whatever’s up there is that you have a lot of favourite wines and you own a harpsichord.”
“Guilty as charged,” Hannibal replies. “And you like dogs.” He squints at Will. “All… seven of them?”
Will snorts and a tiny smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. “You could have figured that out from the dog hair I’m covered in.”
“Listen,” Will says. He leans forward in his chair and steeples his hands together. “The way I see it, neither of us have to do anything about this. I don’t even know if you’re gay, let alone interested, and besides that–”
“Yes, what? You’re gay or interested?”
Hannibal tilts his head, drinks Will in with his eyes. “Does it matter?”
“Well,” Will stutters, “I mean - well, I’m not gay–”
Yes, I am.
“Yes, you are.”
“Goddamnit.” Will slaps his hands on his thighs. “I don’t want to do this. There’s too much going on up here.” He jabs a finger toward his temple and twirls it in a circle. “I don’t need anyone caught up in it, it’s hard enough to manage on my own.”
“What if I want to be caught?”
Hannibal stands and crosses the few feet to Will’s chair, then kneels before him.
“I know you’re hiding something that you think is terrible. That much I can hear.”
Will’s eyes meet his and his fear is palpable. “You have no idea.”
I think I do.
“Stop doing that.”
Tears fill Will’s eyes. “Speaking to me.”
Hannibal’s hands come to rest on Will’s knees and he leans further forward, taking up all the space that he can.
“I have a suggestion, Will Graham. Open yourself to me, and I will do the same. If neither of us like what we see, we agree to part and never speak of it again.”
Will shakes his head. “I already know you won’t like–”
Hannibal reaches up and places a finger over Will’s lips.
“Yes or no, Will?”
Will looks at Hannibal, looks as deep and hard as he can into those dark, alert eyes. Something swims just out of sight below the depths and Will can feel it wriggling, dangerous. Whatever it is, it has teeth. He inhales sharply.
Maybe monsters do have soulmates, after all.
“Well?” Hannibal says. “Yes or no?”
Will closes his eyes.