Will felt giddy with excitement and nervousness when he left the opera house with Hannibal, he never really understood social outings like those, but if Hannibal thought it was doing some good for him, what’s the harm in trying?
He was startled out of his train of thought when he felt a nudge at his elbow, looking down to see Hannibal had his arm outstretched as some form of invitation to something.
“I Uh... what do you want me to do?”
“I’m going to lead you someplace you’ll greatly enjoy, just link your arm through mine”
“I don’t... like touching”
“That’s quite alright, why don’t you just hold onto my sleeve instead?”
Will clutched Hannibals sleeve as he was led around the different shops, he felt like a child being walked around and internally cursed himself for choosing to play along with this. Hannibal stopped Will just outside a shop and opened the door.
“This is the place”
Hannibal had walked off someplace, leaving Will alone to look at the shelves, he said it was because he, “needed to find something” that was in the shop.
Will didn’t really care, he was more focused on the rows of different plush toys lined up across the shelves, all of them different animals or even fantasy creatures.
He stopped at the row of dog plush toys, completely enamoured by the design and work put into each toy, he reached out and hesitantly touched one, quietly fearing that if he did he would somehow ruin the quality of the glass beaded eyes, or the soft minky fabric.
He flipped the tag over to check the price, he already knew it was far too pricey for him to even consider getting, but it still disappointed him regardless.
“There you are Will,” came a voice behind him, Will turned round to find Hannibal stood there, watching him look at the toys, he felt blood rush to his face and ears immediately. Hannibal didn’t react to his embarrassment, and just took the plushie off the shelf, “I see you like this one, he looks like that dog of yours, Winston”
“Y-Yeah... they’re nice”
“Why don’t you buy it then?”
“Look at the price tag, it’s way too expensive. I couldn’t afford it even if I wanted to”
“Then consider this a gift.” Hannibal said, walking over to the register.
Will watched as he handed over a card to the lady behind the counter, happily chatting away while looking at him a few times before whispering to Hannibal. Whatever it was that Hannibal said in response made her excited, as she pulled out other fancy things that Will had no clue were and passed them over.
Hannibal walked back and passed the plush back to Will, whose face immediately went different shades of red as he ran his fingers through the soft fabric.
“I told you Will, you should let yourself have fancy and expensive things.”
Hannibal had driven Will back home.
He got a fluttery feeling in the pit of his gut when Hannibal passed him the small bag that the cashier at the shop did, after exchanging their goodbyes Will stepped out and into his home, being greeted by his dogs showering him with excited licks. He sat down on his bed and opened the bag and pulled out the contents, expensive sweets, chocolates, and a new bottle of cologne. It was a very extravagant gesture.
Will carefully sniffed his shirt and wrinkled his nose, it was definitely time for him to shower. He grabbed some towels and made his way to the bathroom to set everything up before stripping down, he stepped into the shower and turned it on, leaping back at the sudden rush of cold water before it gradually heated up.
Showering had become a lot more easier to deal with after surgery, he could finally look down and see himself after years of showering with the lights off or not looking at all, and he’d be forever grateful for Jack for helping him with the insurance and payments, and also for even taking him seriously in the first place.
He picked up his testosterone patch and put it carefully on his lower back, making sure to smooth it out, as he put his silicone strips on his scars he remembered the start, how the injections were too scary and the gel had a funny texture that he didn’t like, he was convinced he couldn’t take anything, but Jack had recommended patches to him, and they worked great, even though they were more pricey than the alternatives.
He was just grateful that his voice didn’t break wherever he spoke anymore.
Hannibal sat in his office trying to work on his most recent study of the face, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Will and how his face went bright red when he had passed him the dog plushie. He looked down at his drawing and discarded it in favour of a new sheet of paper.
He pictured Wills face in his mind, carefully examining all the minor details he had captured before putting pencil to paper and beginning to sketch. He wanted to make it as realistic as a photo, so he could look at his face long after Will leaves for his work or for fishing.
His head was swarming full of everything he knew about Will Graham, but there were definitely things that he didn’t know, that he yearned to learn about the boy. He wanted to know what made him tick, how his mind perceives and interprets... how he reacts. He wanted nothing more than to pull apart his brain and sift through the information, it was almost intoxicating.
Looking back down at his drawing Hannibal was satisfied with the results, he carefully placed the drawing into his file and sat back in his chair to deconstruct Wills mind.