effie-chan2001 asked: Hi! Do you still take fic prompts? Only after seeing that promo still (you know the one) all I can think about is Hannibal teaching Will to dance for some contrived reason.
"I’m afraid I must cancel our next appointment," Hannibal said.
Will paused with his jacket half on and then shook himself and pulled it up over his shoulders. He wasn’t going to ask why. And he certainly wasn’t going to acknowledge the thin string of disappointment that tugged at him. It was only one week.
"Sure. No problem."
"The week after that is the twentieth, if that suits." Hannibal watched him, hands clasped behind his back. "Unless, of course, you’d care to accompany me next Friday."
"Accompany you where?"
"There is a charity event I promised to attend."
"And you want me to go with you?"
"I would welcome the company."
You’d welcome my company,” Will said flatly. “At a charity event.”
Hannibal gave him a faint smile. “Is that so unbelievable?”
"I don’t think I’m anybody’s ideal plus one."
"You haven’t said no."
"I’m savoring the novelty."
"If it has lost its savor before next Friday, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll pick you up at six."
Will had a new tie and a deep sense of foreboding. He should’ve said no. At least, he should’ve come in his own car so that he could make his escape when it became necessary.
The thing was being held at someone’s house, someone’s mansion, out on the back lawn. A massive white tent, lights strung up everywhere, a dance floor laid out in the grass, and a string quartet. He didn’t know what the charity in question was, and he wasn’t convinced anyone else did either.
"Why am I here?" Will muttered, partially to Hannibal, but mostly into his scotch.
"A number of reasons." Hannibal nodded to a man a few yards away and gave him the most patently false smile Will had ever seen on his face. "Most of them to do with my own entertainment."
"Is that a polite way of saying you find these people as boring as I do?"
"It would be dishonest to say I don’t find your company more stimulating than theirs." Hannibal paused. "And there is the opportunity to observe you in a social setting. You seem more at ease than I had feared you might be."
"I have all the problems with crowds you might expect me to have. I can cope. It’s just not my idea of a good time."
"And yet you still came with me."
"Was that the only reason?"
"I get to observe you in a social situation, too. Your natural habitat. I was curious."
Hannibal looked amused. “Is this my natural habitat?”
They were interrupted before Will could answer. The man Hannibal had waved to had found his way to them, blond, gleaming white teeth, jacket off and tie loosened, massive gold watch displayed by rolled up sleeves.
"Hannibal! Who’s this?" he said. "You never bring anyone to these things."
Hannibal gestured between them. “Will Graham, Jeffrey Winters. Jeffrey is our host this evening.”
"Where did he find you?" Winters said, looking at Will with consternation that hadn’t yet settled into distaste.
"By the side of the road," Will said, and saw Hannibal’s suppressed smile.
"Will works for the FBI," Hannibal said. "Alana Bloom brought us together."
"Oh, Alana." Winters craned his head around with obvious hope. "Is she here tonight?"
"Not that I’m aware of, but I did see your wife looking for you a few moments ago." Hannibal nodded toward the dance floor.
"Ah, right." A hunted look replaced the hope. "Well, great to meet you, Will. Hope you have a fantastic time. Got to mingle, I’m sure you’ll excuse me." He departed in the opposite direction from the one Hannibal had indicated.
Will sipped his scotch. “Brought us together. That’s an interesting way to put it.”
"Am I just company tonight, or am I your date? I know which one he was assuming."
"For the space of this evening, is there a substantive difference between the two roles?"
"Not unless you expect a dance or a goodnight kiss."
"And what if I did?"
Will glanced up at him, startled. He hesitated. Ice clinked in his glass as it melted. “I don’t dance,” he said, finally.
"Don’t, or can’t?"
"I could teach you," Hannibal said, amusement creasing the corners of his eyes.
"That would only address half the issue."
"And why don’t you dance?"
"I don’t enjoy it."
"Surely one enjoys any activity more with practice and acquired skill."
"Oh, does one," Will muttered. "What are you going to do if I say yes? Not worried about your reputation?"
"What makes you think you wouldn’t enhance my reputation?"
"Because I’m wearing the cheapest suit in a five mile radius and I was sort of an asshole to the host of the party just now?"
"You don’t care about either of those things."
"No, but I kind of thought you would."
"I don’t," Hannibal said, and held out his hand.
Will hesitated for half a second and then took it. If he were any good at backing down from a challenge, he wouldn’t have half the scars he did. All the same, his heart beat faster as Hannibal handed their glasses to a passing waiter and led him over to the dance floor.
"I’ll probably step on your feet," he said.
"I doubt it. Your movements are often uneasy, but you have a fighter’s consciousness of your body. Come."
Hannibal drew him onto the dance floor and into his arms, one hand still in his and the other at the small of Will’s back. Will swallowed. It was the most physical contact he’d had with anyone in years.
No one stared openly at them, but Will felt the pressure of eyes all the same. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”
"Perhaps you’re right. Just think, they might not invite me back, and what a tragedy that would be."
Will fought down a grin. “Am I here just to scandalize your friends?”
"Not at all. That’s merely a happy side effect. Shall we begin?"
"How come you get to lead?"
"Because I know where we’re going."
"And literally. Concentrate on your steps, and I will forestall any possible collisions."
"Don’t I get any instruction?"
"You do. You are. You need only listen properly."
They stood still a moment, close, nearly embracing. Will felt the subtle pressure of Hannibal’s hand in his, the shift of weight to the left, and he stepped back. Hannibal followed. Another step and then another, hesitant, but it was clear what Hannibal wanted from him.
Their movements smoothed out. He watched the flex of muscles and tendons in Hannibal’s shoulders and found he could predict the next turn easily enough. He wondered if Hannibal were deliberately telegraphing his intentions. He wasn’t always so easy to read.
Once he had settled into the pattern and the strain of learning something new started to ease, Will had more opportunity than he wanted to notice things unrelated to the dance. The warmth of Hannibal’s touch though his shirt and suit jacket, Hannibal’s palm against his and the light curl of his fingers over the back of Will’s hand. The affection in his eyes every time Will looked above the level of his chin.
"So which is it?" Will said. "If you think I’m going to wait till you drop me off and see if you— I don’t like surprises."
Hannibal didn’t miss a step as he leaned in and pressed his lips lightly to Will’s. “Is that clear enough?” he said.
"The rest is up to you, but you needn’t answer now." He smiled a little. "I do like surprises."
Will let Hannibal pull him closer. He already knew what his answer would be.