“Damn Will, going all out today aren’t we?”
“You said it was a girls night, I wanted to change into something that wasn’t... like a lighthouse keeper, as Abigail told me.”
“Oh my god you did look like a lighthouse keeper.”
“Mhm, anyways, I’m taking us all for a spa, my treat.”
Will looked nervous, “a spa?”
“Yep, gonna get our nails done, then we can get something to eat, Margot knows this really nice restaurant.”
Margot’s eyes flicked up and down Wills body before speaking, “It’s my brothers.”
“You don’t like him?”
Will gestured to Margot, “you grimaced when you said it... I’m guessing you two have a strained relationship.”
“Come on Will, no digging into people’s brain for tonight, you’re here to enjoy yourself, remember?” Beverly chimed in, he nodded and looked down in embarrassment.
“Let’s go to that spa?”
Will nodded, and the girls all started walking to the spa Beverly had mentioned.
Will had never been to a spa before in his life, he knew it was a fancy place where people went to have others massage their aches, a fond memory of an employee sneaking him slices of cucumber and orange as they spotted him staring through the window spread across his mind, it had been the only thing he had ate that day.
He had always been made to watch from the sidelines, always seeing intricate and elaborate displays of wealth but never being allowed to take part, it was like some sort of twisted game the world enjoyed playing with him, tantalising meals and toys were always given to him by his fathers ‘work colleagues’, as Graham Sr. ever so eloquently put it, only to have it taken from him and scolded.
Deep down Will knew that the men his father were seeing weren’t proper colleagues like in the office, but other men with some sick obsession with the unnatural, and their focus was always on him because his dad managed to spin some tale about the rougarou or loup-garou, and Will was always the target of his stories.
Will felt a gentle tug at his sleeve, he turned to look at Abigail, who gave a slight look of embarrassment.
“C-Can I hold your hand? It’s getting dark...”
“Of course you can, you don’t need a reason.”
Abigail felt a wash of relief and linked her hand in Wills, feeling how rough and calloused Wills hands were in comparison to hers.
Will was definitely a seasoned fisherman, and worked with his hands as often as he could, she wondered about all the stories the scars on his hands had to say, and wondered more about if he would share those stories with her.
“How’d you get that?” She asked, poking a more clean looking scar.
Beverly watched as Will and Abigail went in for their spa session, trying to record Will as subtlety as possible to send back to Hannibal, probably captioning it something along the lines of: ‘Poor Will, he looks like he’s just had his first time having physical contact with a person’.
She looked down at her phone after hearing it go off, Hannibal decided to call:
“Hi Hannibal, what’s up?”
“Is Will ok?”
“He’s fine, honestly, he got spooked at first but the staff are wearing gloves so he doesn’t have to feel their hands.”
“Ah, good... and Abigail?”
“She’s loving it, it’s a really nice place, maybe you could take Will with you one day?”
“Are you insinuating a romantic outing with him?”
Beverly smirked, “Might be.”
“I’ll get back to you, I have a patient coming in.”
“Sure thing, call you later.”
Beverly put her phone away and smiled softly, Will was pointing at a scar that ran up his finger to Abigail, explaining how he had gotten it.
She remembered when Will told her a few years ago, he had caught a certain type of fish that had venomous barbs in its fins whilst on holiday and a particularly nasty barb had gotten itself stuck in his finger that required stitches and scarred over.
Abigail tapped curiously at a large bite scar on Wills forearm, “Dog?” Will nodded at her question.
“I was attacked by this golden lab when I was a kid, I was lucky enough to have been raised with lots of them to know to stick my arm out to avoid having my face chewed off,” he chuckled, “that’s the thing that bothers me, you know, people... they buy dogs like them because they just assume that they’ll always be sweet and happy and fun but when the dog finally snaps because of all the times it’s boundaries have been pushed? The dog then gets punished.”
“Did you do something to the dog?”
“Nope, I think the poor boy had issues with little kids touching and pulling - you know how kids are - saw me near it’s territory, probably just wanted to be left alone, thought I was gonna pull his ears.”
“Do you get scared of dogs?”
“No... it’s the people, only a human can look at a dog, who’ll love them unconditionally and will jump at the chance to show it to them, wanting to be shown that love right back... only a human can see that and still treat a dog like shit, it makes me sad.”
Abigail nodded, reflecting on Wills words.
Beverly looked at Will and Abigails nails and smiled, “Damn Will, your nails look great, maybe these’ll keep you from biting them?”
“Where’d your friend go?” Abigail asked, looking around the dark street.
“Oh, Margot? She went ahead to get the reservation, come on.”
Will felt a surge of pride and protectiveness when he felt Abigails hand link with his own as they followed Beverly, he gave her a gentle squeeze of reassurance, aware of the dangers of walking at night, especially with the girls, and how visibly queer he was dressed tonight.
He stayed a little closer to Beverly and put a protective arm around Abigail to hold her nearer to him as memories of men beating him up leaked through, the slurs they spat at him as they kicked and broke.
The memory always ended the same way, with it going dark and him re-emerging from the emptiness with the taste of copper in his mouth and his father shaking his shoulders, always yelling.
“Will? Will! What the fuck did you do?!”