Hey everyone! Next weekend I will be at MOCCA, peddling my wares with @madelinezuluaga, @stephaniehov and @royalstarshine at table J 284! I’m going to have prints, comics, and little mini things! Come see Eshe and Koekoek in their natural printed habitat!
Here have some out of context and surprisingly tame forced bed sharing from the season one au i abandoned in the spring. Perhaps one day this thing will see the light of day…
For a split second something flared behind Hannibal’s eyes, a spark of crimson fire in the dark. “You should rest,” he said after a moment.
“So should you.”
“I’ll take the guest bed, if the offer is still on the table.”
“It is. But that wasn’t the offer.”
“You deserve your own bed tonight. I insist.”
Will thought of the single bed in the dusty spare bedroom in the back corner of the house, unused for so long he never bothered dressing it again the last time he washed the sheets. “There’s room for two in here. I’m used to sharing the bed with a half dozen dogs most nights.”
Hannibal gave Will a nod before rising to his feet. He took off his shoes and placed them near the door. It occurred to Will that he probably hadn’t come prepared for a sleepover, and he wondered if Hannibal planned on sleeping in his suit. He occupied himself rummaging through his drawers and trying to find something in Hannibal’s size so he wouldn’t have to panic over sharing his bed with another person for the first time in years. Over sharing his bed with Hannibal.
“These probably won’t fit,” Will said, shoving the pajama bottoms and t-shirt into Hannibal’s arms. “But it’s better than sleeping in that.”
“Thank you, Will.”
“Bathroom’s down the hall, first door on the right.”
Will stripped off his sweater and changed into a t-shirt. He tugged at the waistband of his pants out of habit, but thought better of it and left them on. He grabbed a pillow for Hannibal from the hall closet, then turned down the bed and slipped beneath the sheets. He fidgeted with the fraying edge of his comforter while he waited for Hannibal to emerge from the bathroom.
Will’s eyes slowly moved up Hannibal’s body as he stepped into the room. The pants sat low on his hips, stretched tight across his groin and upper thighs. The thin t-shirt rode up just enough when he moved to expose a small strip of skin at his hips. The fabric clung tight to his chest.
Hannibal placed his neatly folded suit on a chair, then turned to Will. “I hate to be a bother, but do you happen to have a spare toothbrush?”
The two of them padded down the hall and into Will’s tiny bathroom where their shoulders brushed as they stood at the sink. He grabbed the toothbrush, still in its package, from the medicine cabinet and handed it to Hannibal.
“Thank you,” Hannibal said, fingers grazing Will’s when the toothbrush passed between them. “I’ll replace it as soon as I can.”
“I have about a half dozen of them that I got out of a clearance bin at the drugstore. That really won’t be necessary.”
Hannibal smiled softly as he opened the cardboard and plastic pack, tossing it in the wastebin beside the sink. Will reached for his own toothbrush just as Hannibal went to run his under the tap, and their arms collided awkwardly in the air.
Will wanted to pull back, but in the cramped space there was nowhere to hide. They stood at the sink brushing their teeth shoulder-to-shoulder. When they were through, they both dropped their toothbrushes in the cup next to the faucet. Will thought it looked far better with two.
Hannibal crawled into bed first and sat with his hands folded above the covers. Will’s pulse thudded in his ears and rattled his skull. He wondered if Hannibal could hear the way his breath hitched when he swung his legs up onto the mattress and pulled the covers up to his chest.
Will switched off the lamp, their bodies so close he could feel the heat radiating from Hannibal’s skin. “Is this alright?” He asked, fingers flexing against the sheets.
“Yes,” Hannibal said softly. “Are you alright?”
“I don’t know. Ask me again tomorrow.”
“Alright.” He couldn’t see him, but Will knew Hannibal was smiling. “Goodnight, Will.”
Will’s voice felt too big for the tiny space between them. “Goodnight,” he said, barely above a whisper.
Will lay there pretending to sleep, trying to push all thoughts of Jack from his mind. He closed his eyes and steadied his breathing, listening to the gentle breaths Hannibal drew in beside him. A metronome ticking out a symphony in the dark. He wondered what creatures haunted Hannibal’s dreams, and found it hard to imagine any would dare cross the threshold to torment him in the night.
Their bodies didn’t touch beneath the covers, not even where Will’s feet curved in down near Hannibal’s ankles. When sleep finally drew Will under, coming for him like swaths of light breaking through the clouds, for the first time in a long time, he didn’t dream at all.