Fic Recs Mega Post
A little weekend reccing for any fannibals in need of a good read, this time we’ve got catmen, daemons and a goblin king… and that’s just for starters!
No Man’s Land by @empathalitis and @cannibalcuisine: Following a drunken, clumsy encounter with Hannibal… and Hannibal’s lips, and Hannibal’s hands (depicted in previous instalment In My Head There’s A War), Will finally has to confront his desire for the man he’s run away with. But, well, it’s Will and Hannibal, which means things are never going to be straightforward and between memories of ex-wives and a total lack of emotional intelligence, both men continue to tie themselves in knots rather than getting down to business. This wonderful fic skilfully flows between Will and Hannibal’s POVs, with an amazing handle on both characters and their emotions. And when that dam finally bursts? Well, let’s just say it is very, very much worth the wait!
Stray Cat by Not_You: Taking the “Hannibal is really a cat” theory to its logical conclusion, this AU finds Will working not for the FBI but for the government division that oversees the rights and management of human/animal hybrids. Some of these beings live as pets, others as humans, still others as part of the “Feral Nation” which operates outside of human society. And then there are Will’s worst nightmare, those who are kept in labs and cruelly experimented on. Hannibal is one such case, a human/cat hybrid placed into Will’s custody after escaping and murdering those who kept him in captivity. For a dog person, Will quickly grows attached to this fiercely intelligent, oddly endearing catman (and Hannibal, as usual, cares for no one but Will) but there are many, many hoops for them to jump through before going too far down that road… This is just a stunningly assured piece of writing – the worldbuilding is smart and intricate, Hannibal’s catlike characterisation is perfect and canon elements are woven in with care and intelligence.
Housewarming by @wrathofthestag (Mwuahna): In this latest part of the utterly wonderful, adorable Giving Themselves series (in which Will and Hannibal started dating after the Tobias Budge Incident™), the boys are moving in together. And a milestone in Hannibal Lecter’s life can mean only one thing: a big, fancy party (much to his dear Will’s horror). Invites are sent. Caterers are hired. Booze is stockpiled (well, Will and Bedelia will be in attendance). And shenanigans, inevitably, ensue. Not least of all when Will’s father shows up to set the cat amongst the pigeons (and to flirt with every female in sight). I love and adore this series with all my heart, and this latest part is no exception. It has everything: drunken hook-ups, Will and Bedelia bitching at each other, Mrs Komeda being fabulous, Will getting a handful of the Hannibooty, Jimmy Price saying words… it is, in other words, utterly glorious and I must insist that you read it. Now. Go!
The Vessel by @weconqueratdawn: Ok, I admit, I went into this assuming it was going to be an entertainingly kinky Hannigram romp (c’mon, the tags include “Coming Untouched,” “Threesome,” and “Wendigo porn” XD). And while plenty of kinks do get an airing, this is a much deeper and more complex fic than I had imagined, with an intense storyline exploring religious corruption, sexual slavery and the power of knowledge. Will is the Vessel of the title, a slave elevated to a sacred position within his society’s religion – which means that he suffers and bleeds for their sins, as well as being drugged and used as part of a sexual ritual by the holy men of his temple, including its Father, Jack (yep, there’s a bit of Jack/Will here!). Conditioned from his childhood to believe that he is performing a vital service for his community, doubts begin to creep into Will’s mind when Hannibal is installed as the temple’s new seer. This is an example of a brilliant writer taking elements of our beloved show and using them to create something fresh, intelligent and insightful, while always remaining completely true to the characters. It’s immensely impressive stuff that will linger in the reader’s mind long after the last chapter.
Labyrinth by @llewcie: Labyrinth was one of my favourite movies when I was a kid. Hell, it’s still one of my favourite movies – the amazing songs, the adorable characters… trying to figure out which is bigger, Bowie’s hair or his codpiece… So a Hannigram take on the 80s classic was pretty much guaranteed to appeal, and this fic does not disappoint! Will Graham wakes from a six-month coma to find that his father is dead and nobody seems to remember he has a sister, Abigail. Well, no one except the strange, alluring man sitting at his bedside – who claims to be the goblin king and that Will must defeat his labyrinth in order to get his sister back. The genius of this crossover AU is that, instead of a simple retread with the Hannibal characters standing in for those from the movie, Llew carefully redesigns the ‘verse to reflect Will and Hannibal. Which means we get a labyrinth that is much more dangerous and threatening, a “hero” who is long on sass and short on patience, and a “villain” whose intentions and morality are far more complex than they first appear. Oh, and a boatload of mutual flirtation, of course.
Quicksilver (series) by @weconqueratdawn with artwork by @theseavoices: I know, I know, I’m horribly late to the party here. This is just one of those series that I’ve been saving for special, but having been told off for my reticence by some fellow fannibals, I mainlined the whole series in a oner. And damn, it is as good as everyone says it is. In this AU, Will is a nineteen year old psychology student, who requests a meeting with Hannibal to discuss some coursework. Hannibal, impressed by the boy’s proposal, agrees to the meeting, little knowing that he will soon be utterly, irrevocably, life-alteringly besotted by the beautiful, confident, gender-fluid student who turns up at his office. Accompanied by some jaw-droppingly gorgeous artwork by theseavoices, this is an utter gem, a thing of beauty, featuring one of my all-time favourite versions of Will, who is sharp, sexy and empowered in these stories and a total joy to read. Don’t be like me and put off reading these – get over to ao3 and devour them now!
En Garde! by @artbyvictoriaskye (VictoriaSkyeMasters): VSM ends up on these lists pretty much every time she writes something new because she is a complete genius of AUs and rare pairs. Her latest is an absolute scream, taking the logical step of pairing Mads!Rochefort with Hugh!D’Artagnan in a brilliant funny, deeply sexy romp involving horse thievery, secretly soft villains and an impressive amount of spanking. It begins with a typically hot-heated, self-absorbed, vainglorious D’Artagnan once again search of adventure after his famous adventures with the Three Musketeers… and managing only to head back to the little village he had abandoned in search of glory. Where he makes the terrible mistake of splashing a certain eye-patched villain with mud and not apologising for it. And we all know what happens when you’re rude to a Mads… D’Artagnan soon finds himself a captive of the fearsome Rochefort but, as it turns out, he might not mind it all that much. This is easily one of my favourite fics ever, one I know I’ll be returning to over and over again.
Sweet Sanatorium by @thewanderingcannibal (wanderlust96): Sometime in the 1930s, a teenage Will Graham is institutionalised at his father’s request – partly for his sexuality (at a point in time when being gay could get you locked up) and partly for his uncanny empathy. Fortunately for Will, his new doctor finds these aspects of his character extremely appealing and Will soon finds himself under Doctor Lecter’s wing (not to mention, consensually, between his legs). Unfortunately for Will, though, not everybody’s happy about Hannibal taking favourites… One of the interesting things about Hannigram is that, by any measure of logic or reason, being with Hannibal Lecter is a terrible, awful, no-good decision. Except that, if you’re Will Graham, he might also be the person who can best love, protect and cherish you. And this AU hits that duality right on the button. It also contains a pleasing amount of murder and mayhem, so everything you could want in your Hannigram!
Tevelis by @shiphitsthefan: Ok, daddy kink is not my favourite. It’s not that I actively avoid it but I don’t go out of my way to find it either. And it certainly takes something special to make me truly enjoy it. So take this as the huge recommendation it is meant to be: I LOVED this fic. Post-fall, Will and Hannibal are playing a game. Their usual game, aka: “Hannibal is a cryptic bastard and Will can’t let him win.” Except this time, the stakes are even higher than murder and entrapment – this time, the boys have been discussing kinks, and Will’s tired of waiting for Hannibal to give. So he kidnaps a third party, one with empathic powers to match his own and, in something of a deviation from the usual Murder Husband M.O., doesn’t kill him. Instead, he uses him to finally find that one little word to light Hannibal’s fire… Daddy kink is definitely the marquee attraction here but it’s far from just a hook to entice readers. The kink is written with imagination, inventiveness and insight, used as a means of exploring Will and Hannibal’s dynamic as it develops into (somehow!) something even deeper and more intimate than it was before.
Hold for Release by @sunshinexlollipops (cloudsarefluffy): In this AU, omega Will Graham doesn’t use his empathy to consult for the FBI and BAU Chief Jack Crawford. Instead, he uses it to write for the Virginia Tribune and editor-in-chief Jack Crawford. This does not mean that he isn’t obsessed with the Chesapeake Ripper. Indeed, the nigh-on admiring tone of his articles about the serial killer is putting his job at risk. So being a sensible man who easily lets things go, Will starts a new story about… ha ha, no, of course not. Will, being an idiot who can’t leave well alone, takes his heat leave and his stored up vacation and (with a little help from Chilton being his usual idiotic self) winds up on the doorstep of one Dr Hannibal Lecter, an alpha who turns out to be quite a fan of Will’s journalism… especially his very flattering articles about the Ripper. I love and adore journalism AUs and the fact that this is an omegaverse version just makes it even more entertaining. Nothing is ever quite what it seems in this intricate and intelligent fic, with Will and Hannibal running rings round each other and thoroughly enjoying the process.
Turn the Page by @disraeligearsgoestumblin (DisraeliGears): I have a bone to pick with this fic – upon heading to bed one night I needed a new fic to read, and thought I’d get started on this. Cue me, still up at 4am, utterly unable to even think about sleeping until I finished this masterpiece. @disraeligearsgoestumblin, I entirely blame you for my inability to concentrate the following day! In this canon-divergent AU, instead of marrying Molly after Hannibal is imprisoned, Will sells everything, buys a motorbike and starts driving… and doesn’t stop for a good couple of years. Not until he, in quick succession, realises he wants Hannibal back, gets majestically drunk, and essentially gets adopted by a middle-aged Mexican woman who puts him to work in her bar. This beautifully atmospheric piece takes Will on a very different voyage of discovery than in canon, one in which, without the distraction of his ready-made family, Will has to confront the truth about himself and his feelings for Hannibal with rather more honesty. And the results are… interesting, to say the least… especially when a familiar face turns up at the bar…
One Way Out Of Many by @hellotailor and @nakamasmile: I cannot possibly describe to you the depth of my love for Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series of novels – I utterly, utterly adore them. So reading this Hannigram crossover AU was a complete delight, especially given the lovely, inventive divergence it takes from canon. Set in s1, just as the symptoms of Will’s encephalitis are growing truly disturbing, Hannibal’s daemon (Daiva, who takes the form of a stoat) decides that Will and his daemon (Poppy, a crow) belong to her and Hannibal. So she sabotages Hannibal’s conspiracy with Sutcliffe, ensures that Will gets the treatment he needs and persuades Hannibal onto a new path: to ensnare Will via care and affection. The addition of daemons to the Hannibal ‘verse makes for a fascinating new perspective on the characters and their relationships. And, most pleasingly, both Poppy and Daiva are utterly fascinating creations in their own right, often getting sections written from their own POVs and given agency and agendas of their own.
A Companionable Silence by @hotsauce418: One Eye has been alone for a long time, believing it to be for the best and not seeing much chance for change anyway. Until the alpha rescues a young omega named Charmont from a cage and finds himself growing irrevocably attached to the fierce, spirited young man to whom he lends his protection. Raised as royalty, and an alpha besides, Char has serious issues of his own to work through, but living in close proximity makes it hard for either man to ignore their growing attraction, and when Char’s first heat hits, well… Soft alpha One Eye and sassy omega Char is surely one of the greatest madancy pairings yet – they’re a beautiful example of that contrasting yet complimentary dynamic that makes the rare pairs phenomenon so compelling. And hotty writes them with such obvious affection and care, it’s an absolute treat to observe. Valhalla Enchanted is a thing of beauty and you should all treat yourselves by reading this!
An Unorthodox Dinner by @ratbagqueen: This writer’s one and only Hannibal fic and it’s so damn good, I can only pray they’ll bestow another on us someday! Set post-season 2, Will is recovering from the events of Mizumono (and trying to figure out just why the hell he seems to be missing the man who gutted him), when he receives an invitation in a familiar, elegant hand. Hannibal, it seems, is still in Baltimore, somehow, and still has designs on having Will for dinner. Both more and less literally than Will fears… I rushed straight through this fic, utterly hooked by the slowly building tension between our boys. Both characters are beautifully rendered and the writing is pleasingly redolent of that sinister-yet-intimate tone of the best Hannigram scenes. Although I must warn you: anybody who has issues with seafood might want to steer clear!
As ever and always, if I’ve mistagged anyone or there are bad links, please let me know and I’ll fix them lickety-split. Until next time, lovely fannibals <3