Fic Recs Mega Post
Whenever I write one of these posts I’m struck by the sheer amount of incredible writing talent in this little fandom of ours. It is quite astonishing, and it’s a privilege to get to read all of this wonderful work. Below there’s a small selection of the fantastic stuff I’ve been reading recently, featuring gods, monsters and feral jungle men - and that’s just for starters!
Storms (series) by @lovecrimevariations (KareliaSweet): This frankly astonishing series starts out in barnstorming but fairly innocuous style in Where Are The Storms I Was Promised, in which Will Graham, famous monster hunter, is called to deal with the Wendigo that’s been terrorising an entire town. And then it proceeds, over the course of a further six instalments, to document the beautiful, bloody, often painful course of the relationship between Will and Hannibal, constantly deepening and recontextualising the ‘verse as it goes. Reading this series is almost like watching a really good magic trick – every time you think you’ve got its measure, it pulls something new and surprising out of its hat. And it’s not just flash and sparkle either, the writing is utterly beautiful, the characters are perfectly captured and it is both deeply funny and enormously moving (I was genuinely weepy a number of times throughout). Plus, it also features a majestic, powerful, do-not-under-any-circumstances-fuck-with incarnation of Bedelia, who is worth the price of admission all by herself. Seriously, she was my favourite part of this whole series and I love it beyond any sense or reason. If you have any love of writing whatsoever, read this series, it is a masterclass.
You’ll be in my heart by @starkaryen: Based on the totally beautiful art (here and here) by @camilleflyingrotten, here Will is a scientist on an expedition to find and study gorillas. Instead, he ends up finding Hannibal, a mostly-feral man who lives in the jungle, has an adopted gorilla family, and takes an immediate shine to Will. Who, because this is Will and Hannibal, finds himself taking a shine right back. And all is rosy in Camp Hannigram, until Jack damn Crawford sticks his nose in (like always) and threatens Hannibal’s way of life. As befits the utterly gorgeous artwork, this fic is just lovely from start to finish. It features a particularly adorable version of Hannibal – the scenes in which he indulges his obsession with Will’s safari hat are nothing short of precious – and a charmingly earnest Will. It’s a simple, innocent bit of loveliness, which is rather refreshing in this dark and sophisticated fandom of ours XD.
We, the common by @thelongcon23 (thelongcon): A retelling of the show (and beyond) in omegaverse style, this fic alternates masterfully between Hannibal and Will’s POVs as the omega becomes fascinated, obsessed, and ultimately falls in love with the alpha. The result is that while the course of events remains largely the same (Will still gets framed and gutted, and they still go over the cliff in each other’s arms), others change drastically (the way Will locates Hannibal in Florence, for instance, gets a very clever omegaverse twist). And their relationship after the fall? Well, I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never seen it go down quite like this before. If you’re looking for fluff, I suggest you go elsewhere, but if you’re after passion, intensity, and that terribly Hannigram sense that love and cruelty are not mutually exclusive, this is the fic for you. The writer has a firm grip on the characters’ voices and motivations and is uncompromising and incisive in their betrayal of both. This is not necessarily an easy read (particularly towards the end, when Hannibal gives Will a reckoning of his own) but it is a compelling and fascinating one.
Cookies by @desperatelyseekingcannibals (TigerPrawn): Now, those of you who are after some fluff, here’s some of the best around. Tiger’s non-cannibal AU is an absolute treat, full of emotional idiots, kick-ass women and a totally adorable kid (and I don’t say that lightly cos kid!fic ain’t my thing!). It all starts when Will accompanies his daughter Abigail as she goes door-to-door selling cookies for charity and finds himself face to face with the ever-so-handsome Doctor Lecter. And then somehow, before he knows it, Will is agreeing to a date in exchange for Hannibal buying all of Abby’s stock, and soon finding that he might have stumbled into a real relationship. Not that it’s smooth sailing, of course, this is still Hannigram we’re talking about! It is my deep and ardent belief that Hannibal dreams of being a romcom when it grows up and with this utterly charming, romantic, as-sweet-as-its-name-suggests fic, that dream is made a reality. Anyone who’s ever wanted to see Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter fall in love the old-fashioned way (you know, without all those annoying stints in prison and near-fatal injuries), treat yourself and read this fic. I guarantee it will melt even the most dark and twisted of hearts.
Picture Imperfect by @shiphitsthefan: Will Graham is a very special alpha – unlike many of his sex, he can be trusted not to turn into a hormonal animal around omegas. It’s how he’s made his career as a photographer. That is, right up until he’s in a room with concert harpsichordist Hannibal Lecter and everything goes to hell when they scent each other and can barely keep themselves from ripping their clothes off and bonding right there and then. Seems like they’re true mates and it’s only a matter of time before they give into their urges – so Will, being a decent and respectful alpha, has to get this courtship show on the road before that happens. Well, mostly before that happens. Given the UST inherent to the plot, this is every bit as intensely, stupidly hot as you’d hope, but it’s also a really clever, thoughtful exploration of the omegaverse concept, set in a ‘verse in which omegas are the ruling gender, a nice reversal of the usual a/b/o setup. Plus it has an almost indecently adorable version of Hannigram, in which progressive Will and traditionalist Hannibal attempt to conjoin their lives so that they can get on and shag already! Smart and sexy a/b/o is one of our fandom’s greatest strengths and this is truly just an exemplary version of it.
Space Invader II: A Very Darko Sequel by @devereauxsdisease: A sequel to the utterly wonderful Space Invader (and if you haven’t read it, I’m begging you, go remedy that this instant), this return to Dev’s Spacedogs ‘verse sees Adam and Nigel still ensconced in blissful coupledom. So blissful, in fact, that it’s making Darko wonder if he might want some of that relationship stuff for himself. Cue the appearance of a certain sassy lab tech last seen working for the FBI. That’s right, Beverly Katz is alive, in town and about to rock Darko’s world XD. This is just an utter joy to read, stuffed with Dev’s trademark mix of fantastic dialogue, heartfelt emotion and wickedly dirty jokes. And best of all is her way with the characters, all of whom are wonderfully loveable and who work beautifully together. I spent the whole fic marvelling at the way in which these disparate characters come together and feel like they were always meant to be that way – they make a lovely, entertainingly weird family and are never less than an utter delight to spend time with.
Forgemaster by @llewcie: Valhalla Enchanted by way of the Greek gods now, in this peerless piece of sweetness by the lovely Llew. Char and Ella are the new Dionysus and Aphrodite (in this ‘verse, the gods can retire and be replaced) and live like brother and sister, i.e. bickering, winding each other up, pushing each other’s buttons… They particularly like making bets, which winds up with Ella making Char agree to three dates with Hephaestus, being played in this fic by One Eye. Given that One Eye is unsociable, ragged, and constantly dirty from his forge, Char is less than impressed with his companion and says so… somewhat unfortunately within One Eye’s earshot. So when, despite himself, Char finds himself falling for the blacksmith god’s charms, he’s got a lot of work to do to convince One Eye that he’s worth the trouble! Llew has the charm turned up all the way to eleven in this gorgeously frothy, funny little comedy of errors, with a sweetly vain version of Char melting under the steadily growing appeal of One Eye’s gentle strength. If you need cheering up for any reason, this fic should be your first port of call.
Pure Imagination by @constructfairytales (beforethedawn and Destinyawakened): Stranger Things was one of my favourite shows last year (admittedly it’s no Hannibal, but what is?). It was smart and weird, and as an 80s baby it pressed every last one of my nostalgia buttons, from soundtrack to costume design. So, of course, it was with nothing but delight that I started this crossover AU, in which Will is police chief of the town where young Will Byers goes missing and Hannibal is the psychiatrist he brings in to counsel the traumatised community. And I wasn’t disappointed – this is a fantastic blend of Hannibal’s surreal romanticism with the full-on monstery weirdness of the ST ‘verse, with plenty of unexpectedly but pleasingly fluffy Hannigram at the centre of it. Though it follows the basic plot of ST, having Will and Hannibal involved inevitably shakes things up (Will’s empathy is given a brilliant twist) and predictable this certainly ain’t. Instead it’s fun, thrilling and playful, with at least one story development that genuinely had me on the edge of my seat. And did I mention the Hannigram? Cos, yeah, there’s no slow burn here. Our boys are goners from the second they meet and the intensity of their connection is all kinds of wonderful.
The Estate by @bokuno-jinsei: Amusingly, the tags on this fantastic fic eventually turn into a short plea for Will Graham to stop thinking so much (a plea which anyone who’s written the over-analytical little shit will know is hopeless). Fortunately, Will clearly paid no attention, and so we readers are treated to this charmingly introspective piece of canon divergence. So, Hannibal gets as far as sitting Will at the dinner table in Florence. But, before he can get out his bonesaw, he seemingly has second thoughts and so Will wakes some time later to find himself ensconced in the last place he expected to revisit – Lecter Castle. Where, he finds, Hannibal has decided to change the game between them: if Will agrees to see if they can live together, Hannibal will cease any attempts to change or influence Will. So the pair find themselves as the unlikeliest of roommates as Will wrestles with his demons, his desires and, inevitably, his feelings for Hannibal. Anybody who enjoys intense conversations, brewing sexual tension and Hannibal in waders (yes, really), step this way, you’re in for a treat.
Inevitable by Vulcanmi: I do adore canon divergence. And I have a weakness for prison fics (love Hannigram falling in love while incarcerated). So this fic is entirely my jam. It picks up in the second half of s3: Hannibal is in jail, Will is “happily” married to Molly, and Jack is still desperate to have his pet empath back on board to deal with the Tooth Fairy. Except in this ‘verse, Will decides not to give into Jack and remains with his family, far away from Baltimore. In order to make it up to his former boss, though, Will writes a letter to a certain inmate, suggesting that he offer his services where Will cannot. Of course, it’s not the last letter Will ends up sending to Hannibal. Not by a long shot. And we all know what happens once Will gives Hannibal an inch… (hey, I didn’t mean that kind of inch, you filthy perverts!). Though it starts out as an angsty exploration of Will’s determination to separate himself from Hannibal, somewhere along the way this fantastic fic transforms into a twisted yet adorable romcom, as our murder muffins confront their feelings and try to figure out whether there’s any version of the world in which they might be together. And, frankly, it’s an utter delight to read. One for those (*raises hand*) who like their hurt/comfort 20% hurt and 80% comfort.
Inside the Imitation by @belladonnaq (Belladonna_Q) with artwork by @reapersun: A confession. I’ve never seen The Thing (because I’m a scaredy-cat who doesn’t watch anything that could remotely be described as scary. “But Vic, isn’t Hannibal scary?” Yeah, yeah, I contain multitudes, now hush mango, I’m working). However, I’ve never let ignorance get between me and my Hannigram and so I jumped headfirst into the The Thing/Hannibal crossover which, fortunately, works utterly brilliantly with absolutely zero knowledge of the film. So, once again Jack Crawford finds reason to call upon the services of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. Except this time, it’s not in order to investigate the Minnesota Shrike, but a strange case with its roots in a decades-old tragedy in Alaska. Soon things turn weird and monstery and Will and Hannibal find themselves reluctantly (well, as ever, Will’s reluctant, Hannibal’s thrilled) investigating a burned-out government building with something truly frightening at its core. This is thrilling, clever and wonderfully creepy, a fantastic reframing of canon (especially the Hannigram) and tons of fun throughout. I have to admit, I did not see the twist coming in this fic (though that’s possibly because I’m a dim bulb when it comes to plot) and it was delivered brilliantly, turning everything on its head and upping the stakes for our beloved murder muffins. Oh, and make sure to check out @reapersun’s fabulous artwork that accompanies the fic, it’s staggeringly gorgeous.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Volume 2 by @fragile-teacup: A continuation of the marvellous The Spaces Between series, this picks up a little after volume one, with our boys enjoying Argentinian high society. Unfortunately, while the end of the previous instalment hinted at full-blown murder husbandry, it quickly turns out that Will and Hannibal haven’t quite sorted out their feelings to anyone’s satisfaction (you’re shocked, I can tell). Fortunately, we’re pretty much out of slow burn territory here and the idiots manage to get their act (mostly) together just in time for some ghosts to rear their perfectly-coiffed, millionairess heads and throw a spanner in the works. This sequel continues the achingly lovely tone of its predecessor, with romance a-plenty amongst bouts of emotional idiocy and bloodlust. It’s sweet and tender without compromising on the intensity and darkness of our beloved boys and builds their relationship with care and patience, allowing for a believable building of trust and love between them. It is, in other words, a treat to read in every way, so get yourself to ao3 and have at it!
As ever and always, if I’ve miscredited anyone or if there are bad links, please let me know and I’ll correct it ASAP. Happy reading, lovely fannibals!