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the danger is i'm dangerous by postcardmystery, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 1k
    “You won’t like me when I’m psychoanalyzed,” says Will Graham, but Hannibal has never been more certain of anything in his life.
    This is one of those fics where it's just barely over 1k words, but I found myself wanting to pick out about five separate lines for a summary, those beautiful quotes that would perfectly describe the relationship between these characters, the gorgeous subtlety and elegance of it, even in a show that's about grisly murders and emotional/pyschological manipulation. This is a fic that is all about the subtle and the undercurrent, about what Will goes through with his pure empathy without even realizing, but that Hannibal quite clearly realizes. The author does a breathtaking job of capturing everything that works about the tv series and putting it into text form, right down to the little details that you almost miss because they're not hammering you over the head with it. Beautiful.

Exsanguination by Croik, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 1.2k
    "Tell me if you become uncomfortable and want me to stop," says Hannibal, just before he wraps his fingers around Will's throat.
    It is not easy to write fic about an experience, especially one that relies on a lot of (disturbing) visual imagery, but this fic accomplishes it beautifully. As Hannibal places his hand on Will's throat, it opens a flood of empathic feelings in him, everything coming so quickly and like an unstoppable landslide of... everything that this show is. It's beautifully done just for the sensations written here, but also because this is perfectly in character for Will, especially when you realize the full extent of what's driving him here, and, oh, the dynamic he has with Hannibal is distressingly spot on as well. This is gorgeous, both for the imagery and the characterization, capturing everything that is the show--to the point that I hate this rec just because it cannot capture what it is I truly want to say nearly as well as this fic deserves.

You'll only see my reflection by ohfreckle, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, 1.2k
    It takes a moment until the words sink in. Hannibal’s hands tighten in his hair until Will’s eyes snap open, and what he sees in Hannibal’s eyes should scare him, but it doesn’t. There’s the unspoken ‘I can help you’, but behind it lurks something dark and knowing. It rattles at the locked door in Will’s mind until it slides open slowly, hinges creaking with years of disuse.
    It doesn't surprise me that this fic was written before the show premiered, as it feels just a few degrees off from where I saw the characters in the actual first two episodes (as of the time of this rec), but this largely feels so because the writing is otherwise so lovely and beautifully done. I still absolutely wanted to recommend this fic because it gets at the heart of what attracted me to this type of pairing in the first place--the dynamic of the hero and the villain who become consumed by each other, there's those first stirrings of obsession and desperate need, which the author portrays beautifully, combined with just a bit of pain and blood and disturbing imagery. Lovely as well.

I'll Build A Room For Two by tisonlyaname, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, ~1k
    There’s blood on the walls.
    This may be short, but it's gorgeously written, the author capturing the feeling and pacing of the show so beautifully. Everything about this piece is beautifully done, from the way Will's thoughts are slowly clearing as he comes back around, the way the author uses beautiful turns of phrase and imagery that build the atmosphere, lush and rich without being purple, which is not an easy thing to do. It even captures the complexity of the dynamic between Hannibal and Will, how there is so much in the subtle and undercurrents here, it captures the feeling of Will's thoughts and perspective. Gorgeously written.

laughing with a mouth full of blood by theviolonist, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, gender/sexswap!Hannibal, 1.9k
    "Would you be interested in getting dinner sometime?" asks Hannibal Lecter, catching an errant strand of hair between her lacquered nails and replacing it neatly in her bun.
    I wasn't sure how I would feel about a gender/sexswapped Hannibal Lecter, but I was intrigued enough (and this fandom is new enough to me) that I decided to give it a shot anyway. And, oh, I'm so glad I did because this fic is absolutely gorgeous and utterly nails the way gender/sex swapping works best for me--when it changes nothing and everything at the same time. Everything about the mood and atmosphere is gorgeously done, matching the feel of the show itself, including all these subtle details that are elegant and mean everything and nothing at the same time. Just the little touches of the way Hannibal undoes her hair or your attention is drawn to her nails or her lipstick or her clothes, it doesn't precisely mean anything specific, but it captures your attention and makes your instincts feel everything at the same time. And, oh, there are at least a dozen moments of beautiful character insight to go along with every moment you feel that undercurrent, but can't put it precisely into words. This was gorgeous.

Oubliette by kmmerc, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, ~1k
    “You need respite, dear Will, a place in your mind that is impenetrable,” Hannibal whispered, fingers outspread on his own thighs. Tell me, do you know the word ‘oubliette’?
    I'm not sure how to describe this fic, as it's short and largely without broader context, but still captures that... whatever it is between Hannibal and Will... that's there, that dynamic that's not necessarily romantic or sexual, even while they're having sex. It's a delicate balance to try to achieve, but this fic does it wonderfully. There's just something so very them here, one that I can't put my finger on precisely. But also this fic is beautiful for the story Hannibal tells about his childhood, which is delightfully creepy and utterly perfect.

Hands Off My Mongoose by j_gabrielle, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 2k
    The 4 times Hannibal got jealous and the one time he had nothing to be jealous about.
    This is a fic more for those who definitely ship these characters (as opposed to those who are fascinated by the relationship, whether gen or romantic, which I can fall into either category) and the appeal of it is directly found in the way Hannibal touches Will, the way there are little signs of jealousy when Will interacts with others. This is the sort of thing that feeds into my desire for mutual obsession, so I definitely enjoyed this one a lot, but I'll also admit that it reads better for those who are a little further along on the OTP scale than most might be. The writing is lovely, though, and sometimes I'm just... in the mood for the creepy cute stuff, which this filled nicely.

Inquisitor by The_Grynne, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, ~1k
    An eideteker, the prior called the boy. Awe in his voice. As illiterate as the rest of the villagers, but put a gospel in front of him for five minutes and he will write you the entire book from memory. Not a single mistake.
    Another very short piece, one that's more of a ficlet than a fully rendered fic, but it's an interesting AU, one that I wouldn't have thought would pop up so quickly in this fandom and yet... somehow it intrigued me and managed to work for me. I can see these characters falling into these roles in this time period and found that I actually didn't need anything beyond what the fic already gave me, which had a surprising amount of world-building and detail somehow tucked into it, without me hardly even realizing it. Very well written.

Warrior by becks, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex + extreme gore/cannibalism, 11k
    After the Minnesota Shrike, Will Graham needs someone to hold him together. Hannibal Lecter steps up for the job -- with a few conditions.
    You can tell that this fic was written before the tv series came out and it doesn't match how I see the characters (and leans more towards the books, especially since it follows more of the book's plot), but... between the books, the movies, and now the tv series, I can see different characterizations and I'm more flexible about things. This is not an easy fic to read, however, as the author does a brilliant job with the violence and gore of Hannibal's murders and everything that's in their world, in a way that made me genuinely uncomfortable and even almost sick at points. For all that this fic is elegant and the writing is very well done, I can't say it's a fic I found to make me happy or to have found sexy at any point, as the violence and gore of this permeates everything.

What you're picking this fic up for is something that's very, very lightly hinted at in the series--that Will's extreme empathy could be used to push him into the mindset of a sociopathic killer, which is brilliantly, elegantly done here, as Hannibal gently guides him, with Will never really realizing what's going on. This is like a car crash that you can't look away from, it's enthralling and fascinating and horrible and elegant and all the things that a relationship between a cannibalistic serial killer and a profiler who gets lost in other people's emotions should be.

Horror and Terror by LuckyDiceKirby, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 1k
    Killing Hobbs felt good. Horrifying, terrifying—both from the Latin, horrere and terrere, to fear and to cause fear, respectively—but also undeniably good.
    This is about Will sliding towards the dark side in such a smooth, elegant way. Small scenes, small steps, all beautifully written and as moody and subtle as it should be.

Mugging the Monster by romans, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 1k
    For the prompt: Hannibal is the one who's kidnapped/hurt/threatened.
    This was shorter than I'd have liked (and the last line initially felt off, but I'm reconsidering), but it's interesting to see Hannibal play at victim and the fic really captures the sense of a fly not knowing its taken a spider hostage, which is what it really needed to accomplish most of all.

Roman Charity by carmen, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, 1k
    Fem!Will runs into a spot of difficulty, and Hannibal is nothing if not gentlemanly about lending his aid.
    I did not expect to find myself reading lactation kink fic, but I have a fondness for Lady!Will and the writing is lovely here and, I can't lie, this is a series that encourages me to explore all kinds of kinks with these two. Surprisingly good!

Raw Eater by Veni, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 3k
    Will is a feast. Hannibal partakes.
    The pov switching was a bit distracting here, but otherwise lovely and the use of mythologica/historical notes enhances the writing to make Hannibal truly feel learned and cultured. There's an elegance to everything here, even as it's as disturbing as it should be, and it captures Hannibal's fascination with Will very, very nicely.

That One 'Verse Where Will Graham Is A Girl , hannibal/will, lady!will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, 5k
    She is a six-course tasting menu, laid out on his mahogany table amid spilled wine and scattered cutlery.
    This fic had me at lady!Will spread out on Hannibal's dining table while he goes down on her, which was super hot and beautifully written and everything is just... elegantly grotesque all the way through. Perfect. All of the fics in this series are lovely and fucked up and perfectly characterized, with a slow build that works its way towards progressing the relationship. I loved that the sex scenes all felt different and had purpose to them that was individual, as well as each of them being absolutely lovely.

Mind, Body, Soul by eigengrau, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, ~1k
    You are seventeen years old when your mother re-marries, and you break every rule that you've ever set for yourself.
    Short, but creepy and elegant, I could see this AU playing out this way in these circumstances. It might seem odd at first, but the short sketch nature of the fic works for it.

Pin-Up Boy by eigengrau, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, ~1k
    "Oh, Will. You are exquisite."
    I have a weakness for certain characters in lingerie and this is beautifully done, with Will in lingerie that's about working through shame and (lack of) control and guidance and sensation. And scorchingly hot sex.

Sacrament by Saucery, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, ~1k
    The tasting of the flesh is an intimacy beyond all other intimacies - it is a way to know another completely, without barriers.
    This is short, but it's an interesting take on the psychology of Hannibal and why he strips everything extraneous away from his victims, how it's about making them naked.

Preferential Treatment by craple, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 1k
    "Can you define favouritism to me, Will?" asks Doctor Lecter one morning, over a cup of steaming black coffee and an empty platter that smells strongly of honey and cheese.
    A short fic that's surprisingly warm and comfortable! It's subtle and intimate, just one moment out of many, but not less significant for it.

Clean by small_secret, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, 1.3k
    (AU) After Will's first participation in killing with Hannibal, his rebirth has some lingering doubts as he attempts to shower. Hannibal resorts to positive reinforcement quite readily.
    A transitory piece, between what Will was and what he's becoming, about the sensations of the moment and the less than clear feelings and yet simplicity of fucking in the shower. It's captures that complicated and simple mixture that works so well for this character. Plus, shower sex!

my knees are rife with woodworm by drashian, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, 2.3k
    Will Graham dreams about Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal Lecter doesn't diagnose Will Graham.
    This is short and yet it captures that sense of restlessness and fidgeting from anxiety in a way that reminds of the show itself. And I find the idea of Will as a trans* man super intereting here!

Regius by Elektra Pendragon (elekdragon), hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 1.3k
    Hannibal is an overprotective, cannibalistic snake.
    Hannibal as a snake is just cute enough and just cracky enough without trying too hard or being over the top that it put such a smile on my face to read this. I hesitate to say this about a Hannibal fic, but this was surprisingly cute! And really, really fun.

knife and fork by disenchanted, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, 6k
    Hannibal gets what he wants.
    This fic has a stunning and lush use of details and food and clothes and music and conversation! This is the one fic that has most felt like an extension of the show to me, down to the atmosphere and subtle things not said. Gorgeous and hot and utterly perfect.

La Maison Rouge by Randstad, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, 2.6k
    Hannibal starts to show up at Will's house at the crack of dawn to make him breakfast, killing two birds with one stone: cooking is one of his many passions, and, honestly, Will Graham is climbing up the list.
    This is about Hannibal invading all of Will's spaces until everything else is crowded out, so gradually and carefully that you feel it more than see it. There's also a great moment where you're not sure if Hannibal will kill Will or not, which I love to see reflected in a fic like this, despite that Hannibal is also fond of Will at the same time, which is very well done as it reminds you that this is more like a project for him, rather than true affection.

Little Cat Feet by SorchaR, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, ~1k
    Hannibal teaches. Abigail learns.
    Omg, you would think their little murderfamily would be cracky like this, as Hannibal teaches Abigail and they discuss Will, but this is perfectly characterized and captures the elegance of the characters and, oh, I love Hannibal and Abigail interaction. Fantastic.

Mauling by Croik, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 3.3k
    "I'm beginning to wonder if 'empathy' is the right word for your gift after all," says Hannibal one evening as the rain pours outside.
    As the author says, this is a piece about filling in the spaces, but... it's also about physical presence and examining Will Graham and his ability and the feeling of the entire series, the deep waters that are calm on the surface but go so very, very far down. Hannibal's lack of judgement is beautifully commented on here, too, and there's such a strong sense of... the senses here, not just the sights and imagery (which are also breathtaking), but the sounds and the feel of things. It's such a strong piece, in writing and in character!

The Mongoose Hunts The Snake by Chi-chi-chimaera (gestalt1), hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 8k
    You know William has those big green eyes and that floppy haircut and an obvious affection for dogs like a big old softie but I kind of want it to turn out that he’s playing Hannibal just as hard as Hannibal’s playing him. I’d like to see that as a fic, that turnaround where it’s Will doing the string pulling and Hannibal only realizes it at that very last second… and can’t help but respect how clever it is.
    I did not know how much I ndded this until I was reading it and, oh, it's such a fantastic thing. The sheer sense of... doubtl cat and mouse games, the way Will is such a cypher at times and how he had long since given in to all the imprintings beating away at his psyche. The fic conveys what it's like in his head, with all these new killers to imprint on, one coming so quickly after another now, and Will seeing what Hannibal is attempting to do and how it's just as much about what this Will is like as it is about Hannibal/Will. There's something almost dream-like about the way Will moves through everything and it's subtly creepy and engrossing as hell, even aside from how the fic builds and builds towards that moment that Hannibal will find out and how things will fall out and, oh, it was such a perfect scene. I wouldn't want a ton of this, of already-a-killer!Will, but here in this story, oh, it was absolutely fantastic.

Nothing But Time by pikasafire, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 1.6k
    Will Graham caught Hannibal Lecter and put him behind bars. But that’s not the end of it.
    I didn't expect to enjoy post-capture fic as much as I did here, but the author uses it perfectly, to dig into Will's questions about it, about Hannibal and about everything, yet still keeping the subtle and the mystery that is Hannibal Lecter, especially in the TV series. The fic also nails the characters beautifully and keeps that sense of control and calm Hannibal always has, even when he's been caught and put in a cage.

All The Time In The World by pikasafire, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 2.3k
    After Hannibal escapes, he fulfills a promise to Will.
    This is a sequel to Nothing But Time, which you don't absolutely have to read, but they work better together, I found. This is also rather short, I would have enjoyed it being longer, but it was still satisfying as it was and did a lovely job of Hannibal visiting Will after his escape and all the undercurrents of that, of the revulsion and desire at war in Will that Hannibal sees so clearly. Such a lovely, elegant follow up to the previous fic! There are even elements of the movies/books, but in a way that works with the TV series, which... again, I didn't think I'd enjoy it nearly as much as I did with this beautiful set of fics.

Heart Tartare by gul, hannibal/will + hannibal/clarice, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 7k wip
    He loves them with all of his heart. He loves them with all of their hearts.
    This is a wip and definitely needs a scrub with the editing brush for typos and inconsistent tenses, but largely these stand out because the fic is so beautifully written otherwise. There is such a solidity to this piece as it examines Hannibal's relationships with Will and Clarice, how they're both important for their own reasons and insights, how they're both parts of a larger whole, how they can be compared and contrasted (mostly contrasted) against each other, but they're still each entirely their own relationship. It's not that one is an extension of the other so much as they feel almost... balanced against each other, in the scales of Hannibal's life. And, oh, this fic does a beautiful job of getting into both of them, there's so much insight into these characters, especially when it's combined with blending the tv series together with elements from the books and the movies in a way that feels natural and perfect. I think this fic definitely has potential to become one of my very favorites in the fandom, if it keeps this up.

Dinner and a Show by syllogismos, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, masturbation + voyuerism, 2.5k
    Hannibal's hands stop their work. He settles his knife on the edge of his plate, and one of its teeth catches the light of the setting sun and reflects a blurry bright spot onto Will's cheek like a ghost of a teardrop. "You're stalling." "Yes, good job. I don't have a strong desire to jerk myself off while you watch and eat your dinner. Very well spotted."
    Apparently, this fandom is further going to break down any reading inhibitions I might have once had. This is an interesting piece, not one I would have thought I'd enjoy as much as I did, but it's not just about Will masturbating on Hannibal's dining room table while Hannibal eats his meal or even just about Will having some great lines in response to the whole situation. It's about breaking down boundaries and cracking Will open, it's about Hannibal molding him just that little bit more, layering both the obvious manipulation and the subtle manipulation together.

all remaining color by scioscribe, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, post-apocalypse, 1.5k
    At a gas station outside Raleigh, Will siphons gas because Hannibal hates the taste.
    Post-apocalypse AU fic is not a thing I would have expected to find, but somehow it makes sense in this fandom. It's beautifully written, just a scene in the middle of everything, but one that manages to get in so much background (or at least lets you draw in a lot of conclusions), and even mirrors elements of the canon very well. And, you know, a fandom is never complete until you've had at least one post-apocalyptic AU.

Breaking Glass by BakerStreetMuse, hannibal/will, NSFW for disturbing imagery + sex, alpha/beta/omega dynamics, 2.1k
    from this prompt on hannibalkink: Hannibal/Will, Conjugal Visits, Omegaverse. Bonded pairs in omegaverse are allowed conjugal visits every three months during the omega's heat. (Bonus for Hannibal and Will still being crazy in love with each other, emphasis on the crazy) (Double bonus if Dr. Bloom is the one driving Will to these special visits) Everyone sexy and miserable is my fetish, do with that what you will.
    This is for those who love the alpha/beta/omega tropes, where Will is in heat so terribly that he doesn't care what humilation he has to suffer through to be taken to Hannibal. This is purely pwp with the conventions of the genre and absolutely filthy despite not even getting the proper fucking. It's for those who already like the genre, though, I suspect, and I'll give a light caveat about potential second-hand embarrassment, though, I'm sensitive to that sort of thing and I made it through this one with little trouble. But if you like this sort of thing, wow, the fic just goes with it and that's always the best kind of trope-laden kink fic.

The Hollow Man by artificer, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + gore, 3.4k
    “You don’t understand,” Will protests, though the fire has left his voice. “I’m hollow inside.” They speak so often in metaphor—of teacups, of mongooses and snakes, of ways out of dark places. It never occurs to Hannibal that Will might be speaking literally.
    I love supernatural-themed stories and this one fits the feel of the TV series so very, very well, such a creepy and grotesque elegance, like how the show would go if it had these elements. The writing is lovely, turns of phrase and imagery that are necessary to paint a picture and to create a certain atmosphere, but without overwhelming the story being told, all of it truly fit the story and these characters and the beautiful horrific relationship they have. It's a gorgeous piece, really.

Grace Café by loghain, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery + sex, cafe au, 19k
    Hannibal Lecter is many things: the owner of the Grace Café, a diligent father to an adopted daughter, a formidable former psychiatrist and surgeon. He is talented and tasteful, and Will Graham falls in love with him for all of these reasons. He's also the man Will has been hunting for months, and yet even with his nose to the ground Will's never caught the scent of him - the Chesapeake Ripper. A gratuitous café AU, though maybe not so sweet as others.
    When you decide to read a cafe AU fic, you generally go in with a certain idea of things and expections of fluff, even when you're warned otherwise ahead of time by the author. It's not a bad thing that this is surprisingly close to the tone of the show, though, and that's part of what ended up utterly engrossing me about it, that this felt like is how it would play out if the pieces had been just slightly rearranged (setting aside the whole thing of how Hannibal/Will will never be canon), and it stayed true to the themes and atmosphere of the canon. Despite the different meeting, their relationship still sings true, for the way that they get along in a quiet, understated sort of way, for the way Hannibal wades into Will's thoughts and helps sort through them, for the way Hannibal calms Will, gives him something good in his life, even as you can feel that Hannibal is not good for Will.

The fic, as much as I often wish otherwise (if only because my fannish heart cannot take too much sadness), doesn't pull its punches on that front, either. This Hannibal is perfectly in tune with the canon version, he's elegant and refined and just has a way about him, a charisma and a sense of danger that you can't quite put your finger on most of the time. You just feel it. And, oh, the final scenes, where the fic comes to a head, as Will is still chasing the Chesapeake Ripper and you know things cannot stay as they are, that was one of the most tense things I've read in ages! All of that and really good sex (twice!) and creepy manifestations of Hannibal et. al in Will's dreams and a great use of Abigail in their lives and just. Everything about this fic is really, really good.

breakthroughs feel a lot like breaking down by pan_ismyhomeboy, hannibal & will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 2.6k
    Will's vehement denial of abuse in Trou Normand piques Hannibal's curiosity. When Hannibal presses, Will's terrible secrets spill out. Trigger warnings for the mention of past child abuse, molestation, self-harm, and suicide attempts.
    When you give characters an abusive past, it's so easy to slip into misusing such things or feel as though you're writing just for angst's sake alone, especially if it's physical or sexual abuse. But there's something so graceful and fluid about the way Will's breakdown is written here and how I can see this, largely because this nails the characters, especially the way Hannibal talks to Will and pulls him open, the way the author captures Will's fluctuating between guilt and anger and terror, the way they're all twisted together here. It's not something I see in the characters on the screen, but while reading this fic, I saw it here and that's an accomplishment for me!

Appetites of the Flesh by Magnetism_bind, hannibal & will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, 2.9k
    Will gets aroused at murder scenes. Eventually this gets noticed.
    This is such a beautifully written piece, the use of words to pain just enough of a picture, to set just enough of a mood, without becming too purple in the prose, it fits the series so well and made it a fantastic read. It also helps make the concept work beautifully, because you feel Will's revulsion at himself, the helplessness he feels over his body's betrayal, yet also understand why he feels the way he does, how it's such a complex and complicated thing, that it's not just about the murder porn. And, oh, the way Hannibal uses this to manipulate Will even further is perfectly done.

Abattoir by joursdenfantsmorts, hannibal/will, nsfw for disturbing imagery, dark!will, 6k wip
    Will shows up injured by another killer in Hannibal's office one night; Hannibal gets his hands dirty and learns something interesting about Will.
    I have a weakness for serial killer!Will fics, even knowing that it goes against the point of canon and this one was fun! At the time of this rec there's still one chapter to go, but it's already gotten to a lot of the fun stuff and who doesn't enjoy a good reveal scene? This one was definitely a fun one. The fic happily embraces the the concept and just runs with it, which is what makes it enjoyable to read for me, and I'm looking forward to the last chapter.

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