Hannibal loved Christmas. Not the sentimental frivolity of pigs attempting to raise their moral standings for a day, and certainly not the capitalist materialism part of it; but the decorating and the food and the parties. Oh, how he loved those things.
So his first Christmas with Will he began the same as he always had; by selecting the finest pine garlands and trees, hiring competent help that followed his direction (and making a feast of the one who stepped on the oil car of his antique model train, it was irreplaceable), and covering their new mansion in tasteful, classical Christmas decorations.
Then he set to his harpsichord and began his tradition of playing the entire score of The Nutcracker Suite, while closing his eyes and imagining the gracefulness of the ballet–
His foot missed a pedal as Clairmont, their purebred Dacshund, lost his grip on a ball which wound up under his toes.
The symphony stopped. Hannibal bent down, picked up the ball, and set it on the bench. He resumed playing.
A high-pitched, pathetic whine interrupted him a few notes in. He turned his head and looked down at the dog.
“If you don’t want to lose your toys, then don’t interrupt me while I’m playing.”
The dog whined.
He glanced at it, and it had adorable, pathetic looking liquid eyes, which reminded him too much of Will.
He sighed and tossed the ball into the hallway. The dog scampered off, nails scratching on the hardwood floor, making Hannibal wince.
“Oh, are you playing Christmas music?!” Will shouted, clomping through the house, clearly still wearing his boots, with the sound of eight paws thundering behind him.
“You are! Hannibal you never told me you like Christmas! The house looks amazing!”
“Thank you, I…”
His sentence was interupted with a kiss. The kiss tasted very much like brandy.
“Will, that bottle was for the party tomorrow.”
Will grinned at him with a smile that said he knew. Hannibal sighed. Will leaned on the edge of the harpsichord, but Hannibal ignored him and resumed…
“I don’t know the words to this one.”
“That is because there are no lyrics. This is an excerpt from The Nutcrack…”
“You should play jingle bells. Then I can sing along.”
Will gave him a look that was pathetic and adorable, and reminded him of the eyes of the dog that now wagged its tail at his feet.
Hannibal looked over at his love, the pile of fur at his feet, sighed, and began playing the beginning of Jingle Bells.
“Dashing through the snooowww!!!” Will slurred, a grin on his face, cheeks rosy from the cold air outside. The moment he held out the out-of-tune note, the two beagles at his feet began to howl. Will saw the scowl on Hannibal’s face and scooted onto the bench beside him and ran his tongue over his ear.
“In a one-horse open sleigh.” he whispered, and Hannibal was annoyed at himself for being so enamored with this drunk idiot. He continued playing. Will sang, the beagles howled, and Clairmont barked on the refrains. Despite himself, Hannibal found a small smile begin to creep to his lips, and he pounded the keys with reckless abandon, even missing a few notes, adding to the disaster that was his beautiful new life.