i just love him and want him to be a happy smol when he needs to be so that he is a happy tol more often. i want him to accept himself–all of himself, all of his darkness–when he’s an adult, too. to be able to think about it as an adult instead of through a child’s mindset. to be more forgiving of his murderous desires.
it’s a little like watching mischa all over again, hannibal thinks, guiding her and teaching her all of the important things that the governess wouldn’t: how to skip rocks and catch fireflies and hunt rabbits
will already knows how to do those things, but he’s eager to hunt other prey, and make different crafts
hannibal’s surprised by how uneasy the idea makes him–this should be what he wants, shouldn’t it, a protege, a young man to mentor–but will is too young, so hannibal says no
he gets a call very, very late one night, long after he and adult!will have parted ways for the evening (will only wants to hunt and kill and sculpt as a child; perhaps that is what unnerves hannibal, the reminder of himself)
“will? are you alright?” because hannibal knows something must be wrong, for will to call him at four in the morning
“i did it, papa” and hannibal’s heart leaps into his throat because he’s so proud and so astoundingly terrified
it isn’t his little!will sitting in the middle of a spray of gore like he expected; it isn’t the will that called him and babbled and chirped happily over the phone like any excited child
no, this is very much adult!will, sitting there, beaming, covered in blood, a self integrated and in balance, a violent angel that makes hannibal’s breath falter
“it’s beautiful, isn’t it?” will asks, calmer than hannibal’s ever seen him outside of his headspace, and oh, it is; it is; it is
you’re so welcome! since you had to wait for a reply, here’s another irredeemably fluffy little will story from further down the road in their relationship (let’s say after hannibal comes clean about being the chesapeake ripper).
after he wakes up from a nap one afternoon, will wanders downstairs in search of his papa. he isn’t in the kitchen, like will expected; instead, he’s in the dining room, setting the table with what looks to be a very nice new tea set. it’s will-sized, which makes will giggle, but then he remembers that boys aren’t supposed to have tea parties, and he stops giggling.
hannibal beckons him over. “i give parties,” he reminds will, pulling will’s thumb out of his mouth.
“that’s different. you don’t invite Padengia to those,” because there is will’s bear–hadn’t he gone to sleep with it, though?–sitting at the head of the table, head just peeking over.
“i had tea parties when i was little.” hannibal takes will’s other thumb out of his mouth. “thumbs are for tiny wills, darling.”
he doesn’t feel tiny anymore, not like this morning. will frowns, but he sticks his thumbs in his pockets. papa smiles–the real smile, the big smile–and will smiles back. it’s nice.
even if he does still want his thumb back.
“you made tea parties?” papa nods. “with your sister?” papa nods again, more slowly. will climbs into his lap; talking about almost-aunt mischa makes papa sad, so will wraps his arms around his neck. “did she make you do it?”
hannibal holds will tightly. “no,” he says, “i liked them, too. i gave them, and she attended.”
“did you make invitations?”
“did you make her write back?”
“no,” says hannibal, catching the chuckle in his chest, relaxing bit by bit. “no, i did not.”
gushing below the cut
THE CUTENESS!!! YOU’RE KILLING ME WITH WONDERFUL CUTENESS!
Ugh this is so freakin’ adorable I can’t even stand it. Hannibal indulging Will and Will being careful about the whole Mischa thing! And you just about killed me with the boys can’t have tea parties thing. Ugh! SO CUTE.
I love that you include Will looking out for Hannibal too. So many writers of little!play fics concentrate on the papa/daddy being all big and caretaker extraordinaire and don’t bother showing how it’s a symbiotic relationship and not just one-sided. Thank you!!
OH this fits into the season one little!will au so well, because many of the pneumonia symptoms are also symptoms of encephalitis. like will gets pneumonia on top of it, but hannibal only smells the pneumonia for…idk reasons. so he’s taking care of will
and it wasn’t that will’s dad was mean or terrible. he was inattentive, and working odd jobs to make ends meet, and couldn’t miss a day of work to stay home all day with will because it just wasn’t practical
will tries to take care of himself–that’s what he’s used to, after all–but he’s never felt this awful before. he has that father-instilled work ethic though, so he just keeps pushing himself
and then the phantom raccoon in the chimney. alana gets freaked out and leaves (seriously who would kiss a dude when they’re manically tearing their chimney apart) and will realizes there’s something Really Actually Terribly Wrong
now that hannibal has been encouraging will to explore his little side, it’s all too easy to start slipping into it–he’s so scared, but he doesn’t want to call his papa, because dads have to work, so he fights it off
at least, will thinks he does, except he wakes up at hannibal’s with no idea how he got there (let’s also pretend the cello incident hasn’t occurred yet; idk i’m freewheeling over here)
so hannibal has cancelled legit everything because smol will is tol amounts of sick and there’s lots of pretentious chicken soup and equally-pretentious popsicles and baths and storytimes
but will isn’t getting better. his chest congestion clears up, and he stops coughing, but the fever won’t go away, and will is still hallucinating and acting confused, still vomiting and shaking and sweating
hannibal is quietly freaking out, even more than before (when will wasn’t feeling little, he called hannibal out on his helicopter momming), because he can’t lose someone else, not like this, not ever, and he should never have let himself get so close and and and–
will smells funny
and then they have the encephalitis diagnosed and EVERYTHING IS FINE AND THEY CONTINUE EXPLORING THIS NEW DYNAMIC OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE THEY TRUST AND CARE FOR EACH OTHER MORE THAN EVER
i wasn’t gonna gush this time at the end of your post but i can’t not so
I love the idea of Will begrudgingly accepting the mother hen thing from Hannibal. I love the idea of Will being all sick and not getting better so Hannibal is freaking out. I can’t stand how cute this ‘verse you’ve created is. I’m going to stalk your little!will tag! Mwahahaa >:D
hannibal has no idea how long they sit in his waiting room. he’s too busy holding his boy, and sorting through/compartmentalizing his feelings (being a hannibal can be Hard sometimes)
when will wakes up, he’s still feeling smol. hannibal doesn’t treat children, so all he can think of is sitting on the floor in his office between the chairs and letting will use a pencil and paper to draw. will is hesitant, but then hannibal starts drawing, so it’s okay.
he draws dogs. it becomes apparent that will can’t draw.
eventually, will just starts staring out the window until he comes back to himself. hannibal has to reassure him that what happened was okay, and he doesn’t think poorly of him, and he isn’t weird (at least about this). will grudgingly admits that he does feel better than he did when he arrived.
they talk about it (as much as will is willing to) after the incident in the waiting room. let’s say that the case in ouef is what triggered the whole thing, the idea of a childhood stolen.
the next time will comes for therapy, hannibal has colored pencils and a small stuffed bear. mischa loved her bear, before it was lost. hannibal also made snacks–stupidly fancy snacks, but still child-friendly.
“we can still hold our session as adults,” he tells will, “but i think it would be therapeutic to explore this side of yourself.”
so they sit in the floor during sessions now, drawing and coloring and talking about murder. sometimes will slips into his little space; hannibal doesn’t point it out. better to take it slow rather than just jumping into it all at once. he can lead will there and meet him on his own time.
and then will barges in one day outside of his appointment time, grabs the bear, plops down on the couch, and pouts when hannibal has no snacks.
it’s rude af, but hannibal can’t help but smile–a real smile, and it makes his face feel strange and his heart feel stranger.
will wants to color–not draw, just color–so hannibal winds up having to rifle through his drawing for something semi-appropriate for a little will to color in
wound man is appropriate. right?
i hope you feel better, nonny!! <3
gushing below the cut
This is so cute I can’t even stand it!! Ugh… I mean the whole idea is cute enough anyway, but Hannibal making up snacks and sitting on the floor and finding “appropriate” drawings for Will to color?! *dies*
Oh and the whole coming in and plopping down with the teddy bear and being all pouty when there’s no snacks?! You’re trying to kill me with cute and you’re succeeding.
sorry for putting this all here in addition to your post instead of the tags but I needed to gush and tags weren’t adequate for gushing