sharp_as_knives: (blue)
[personal profile] sharp_as_knives
Hannibal smoothed down his lapels - burgundy with a lighter pinstripe - and tweaked his gold tie and pocket square into position.

"Well?" he asked with a smirk.

//Well,// Jono replied, pausing to glance down at his own black suit, accented by the deep red dress shirt he was wearing under his jacket, //I'm forever going to marvel at how much bolder you are than I am when it comes to clothing. But then, I suppose it doesn't count as 'bold' when you look excellent in basically anything, does it?//

Jono was still convinced that they could make a suit for Hannibal out of burlap, and aside from the itchiness that would no doubt come with it, he'd still look fabulous.

"I feel obliged to point out the possibility you may be biased," Hannibal said. He tweaked Jono's jacket and kissed his cheek. "Fortunately, so am I. You look wonderful."

//I think we're allowed a little bias,// Jono decided, a smile in his eyes as he leaned forward to nuzzle against Hannibal's cheek for a moment. //It's your birthday. Ah. Sort of. And it doesn't matter where we go, we're hardly going to be able to miss the Valentine's crowd this time of year, so we might as well dress to the nines and teach everyone there how to look good doing it, hm?//

Did he really think they would be the center of attention? Not really. Was it fun to speculate? Absolutely.

"We will make them all terribly jealous," Hannibal said. "So. Where are we going?"

//London,// Jono replied, raising his eyebrows a little as though that was some big revelation.

... Really, given Jono's hesitance to go back there more often than not, it sort of was.

//There's a jive party at the Rivoli Ballroom, live band and all. And it isn't even in a London that knows who the hell I am.//

That part had been important.

"Perfect," Hannibal said. He looped his arm through Jono's. "Will they be disinclined to bother you, or will you be turning their attentions away?"

//We'll find out when we get there,// Jono replied, shrugging as their arms linked. //Mostly I made certain that nobody will be giving us a hard time. Seemed to be priority. Anybody who takes issue with me in particular, I'll deal with.//

Probably by punching their faces. Not any of the ways that were more morally questionable than simply slugging bigots.

But it was Hannibal's birthday! And bigots were so rude!

"Well, I look forward to a lovely time." Hannibal smiled. "Shall we?"

//Portal should be waiting,// Jono agreed. //Even made it clear that it was for you. We ought to make it there without a problem.//

If they didn't, Jono would have to light somebody on fire.

"We had better." Otherwise Hannibal would let them be lit on fire.

He put on his hat, handed Jono his, and headed for the door.

Jono still really didn't think of himself as a hat person. But when going swing dancing...

Hat on his head, he held the door for Hannibal, stepped through behind him, made sure to cut any feline escapees off at the pass, closed the door, and then gestured to the portal.

//After you?//

Or should he be the Portalocity guinea pig himself, first?

They had better end up the same place, too, so it hardly mattered. But Hannibal nodded and stepped through.

And on the other side of that portal, a street in London. A fairly quiet one, at that, and so they'd managed to avoid giving the locals any heart attacks.

//We're headed for the next street over,// Jono explained as he started to walk. //Didn't want to spook anybody when we showed up.//

"Generally a wise decision." Hannibal kept pace with Jono as they headed over. "Although I suppose it depends on your plans for the evening."

//Well, the plan had been to go dancing,// Jono noted. //But I'm flexible, if you really want to just spend tonight terrorizing the locals.//

Hannibal thought about it. "Dancing first. We'll see if any other opportunities present themselves."

//See, you know exactly what I like to hear,// Jono teased as he led them down the road. //Not ruling anything out, are we?//

"Of course not." Hannibal smirked. "I like to keep my options open. And this is my birthday."

//True enough. On your birthday, any adjustments to the itinerary are completely your call.//

Within reason. Hard line on the murder front unless someone really had it coming.

You never knew when someone might! But for now...

"Well, then. Shall we show them how it's done?" Hannibal asked.

//Let's,// Jono replied, once again holding his arm out to Hannibal. //I'm looking forward to seeing how far we've both come.//

And to showing it off.

Hannibal took Jono's arm with a smile and headed for the door. Once they were through and had shed their coats, he took it up again as he enjoyed a look around the venue for a suitable place to start.

"Much better than the bowling alley," he teased.

//Mmmm, but there were chips at the bowling alley,// Jono countered, amused. //Really quite terrible chips.//

Which naturally meant that Jonothon enjoyed them very much.

"I imagine there are terrible chips somewhere around here as well," Hannibal pointed out. "We are in London. The shoes are better, though."

Especially theirs.

//Oh, I know all the best places for bad chips,// Jono promised. //I won't even drag you to a single one of them while we're here.//

Because they were here to dance, and all.

//But the jury's still out on the shoes. We'll see how my feet are faring by the end of the night, shall we?//

"Much appreciated," Hannibal said, still smiling. "And if your feet can't keep up with mine, I will be highly disappointed."

//If my feet can't keep up with yours, it's entirely because your feet have far more experience with those shoes,// Jono decided. //Though I'm certain that for the duration of our outing, regardless of the state of my feet, I'll cope.//

Such hardship, dancing with one's husband.

"You'll be fine." Hannibal had faith, in Jono and the shoes.

You'd taken down Omega Red with a rock, Jono. You'd made it through all the weddings. You could make it through this.

//I'll be fine,// Jono agreed, taking another look around, really soaking in the ambiance. He was pretty sure he'd made the right choice, here. //I suppose the real question then is, should we start making requests, or just impress everybody here with how well we improvise?//

"Did you have a particular song in mind?" Hannibal asked. "We can request it now and improvise until they play it."

//Me, nothing that leaps immediately to mind,// Jono said thoughtfully. //Unless you wanted something especially ridiculous...//

Or unless Hannibal had any suggestions of his own.

Hannibal pondered, then smirked. "It's possible I may have something ridiculous in mind." He looked around for the DJ. "I'll be right back."

Well, wasn't that interesting? Jono watched after Hannibal, bemused, and then gave his shoulders a shrug.

//I'll admit,// he said, //now you've got my curiosity piqued.//

After the other wedding when we didn't have a particular song, I may have done some searching around the internet, Hannibal confessed. He then pointedly stopped thinking in Jono's direction long enough to speak with the DJ before heading back. I still haven't entirely decided, "but there was one I was amused by, and it has a tango version. He'll play it in a song or two."

//Well, now you've definitely got me wanting to know,// Jono replied, equal parts baffled as he tried to guess at what it might be, and amused. //It could be basically bloody anything coming from you, couldn't it?//

Just to keep him on his toes.

"Naturally," Hannibal answered. He did love keeping people on their toes. You'd known what you were getting into, Jono. "Meanwhile, shall we improvise?" It was swing at the moment, which was a good start.

//I'd love to,// Jono said, making his way out to the dance floor. //I'll follow your lead?//

It was easy enough to improvise a full bloody dance number when one out of the two of them was capable of being well aware of what his partner was going to do before his body caught up to his thought processes.

Not to mention, they were both rather good dancers, and Hannibal was good at leading even non-psychic partners.

In more ways than one.

But for now, he'd stick to swing dancing, nothing too fancy to start, just a few flourishes.

"Thank you for this evening," he said as they danced.

//You're very welcome,// Jono replied, dancing along with ease. //I'm just sorry it didn't happen sooner. I had intended for it to, but for a tiny island where nothing really happens except for a few odd days every few months, time has one hell of a way of running away from a person.//

Also that whole 'melting brain' thing. That too.

"Particularly when they can barely think," Hannibal pointed out. "I'm simply glad to have both you and Alluka back."

//That,// Jono replied, //makes two of us. Mostly about Alluka, admittedly. I would've come up with other ways to cope, eventually.//

"Yes," Hannibal replied. "I would have found a way to sedate you and carry you off the island. Or we would have found a lovely home in Baltimore for Nanika that we could visit without living near."

Your brain had been melting, Jono.

"Fortunately, the problem is now solved."

//Fortunately,// Jono agreed, blinking. //In Baltimore, really?//

Not the one where people wanted Hannibal dead, he hoped.

Not that one, no.

"The causeway seems more stable than relying on Portalocity," Hannibal said. "I never would have stopped you from visiting her; you simply needed time away."

//I suppose I did,// Jonothon agreed, after a pause. //And now I know I need to take Nanika in small doses. And kick the shins of anybody who wishes for things that she can't grant immediately, so help me.//

"Please," Hannibal said. "Has she been out since then? She'll want her price paid sooner or later."

Even for a healing, bringing someone back from the dead was likely to demand a sizable one.

It was Jono's understanding that it wouldn't, otherwise he would have been far more concerned since.

//I haven't noticed,// he replied, thoughtfully. //Not entirely certain if that's because my brain's still bleeding out, or because she's just been recuperating from all of that raising the dead she'd done.//

Hannibal pulled Jono closer on the n"ext step and narrowed his eyes at him. "How badly are you still hurting?"

He'd thought Jono was healed by now; if he were hiding further injury, Hannibal would not be pleased.

//Just mild headaches,// Jono replied, blinking and shaking his head a little. //They've been improving daily, still are, so I haven't been terribly concerned about it. The damage that was there takes some time to recuperate from, is all. I'd go about it my usual way, but mind-over-matter healing is a psionic strain all on its own.//

And Jono and pain were old friends. Without the source of the injury battering away at his senses, it was a discomfort that was easily ignored.

Hannibal relaxed and nodded. The headaches he'd known about; that had sounded more serious.

"I'm pleased to hear it. Let me know if you want another massage with that balm," he offered.

//After we get out of here tonight, I might take you up on that,// Jono replied, a little smile creasing the corners of his eyes. //I'm never going to turn those down, mind.//

"Later, then," Hannibal promised. "And for now," he led them into a turn as the current song ended, "dancing."

//Dancing,// Jonothon agreed, coming to a stop with a flourish and a wink. //It must be coming on time for the song you requested, hm?//

Hannibal cocked his head and smirked. "Possibly."

And the next song started playing.

And that moment hit Jonothon like a sack of bricks. A very ridiculous, Gaga-flavoured sack of bricks right to the mouth.

He blinked.

He blinked again.


This was not stopping him from holding his arms out to Hannibal. It took two to tango, after all.

It did indeed. And Hannibal was going to enjoy this tango very much.

"Why not this?"

He was smirking.

There were days when Jono wished he could kiss that smirk right off of Hannibal's stupid attractive face.

//There's nothing the matter with this,// Jono replied quickly. //It just wasn't... I don't actually know what I expected, but Bad Romance certainly wasn't it.//

"Some of the lyrics quite amused me," Hannibal said. He spun and dipped Jono, still grinning.

One of these days, Jono, you would kiss it off him. Hannibal had every confidence.

//They would,// Jono agreed, raising an eyebrow up at Hannibal as he was dipped. //Find them apt, do you?//

"To a certain extent," Hannibal allowed. "And then not. But it does have a good rhythm."

And he knew Jono wouldn't have expected Lady Gaga from him.

//And how long did you spend looking for one that would throw me off-guard specifically?//

The questions that Jonothon had to ask in this relationship. Honestly, now.

"I may have discarded a few that wouldn't," Hannibal confessed, unapologetic.

//It's almost as though I've met you,// Jono teased, clearly not minding. //You never cease to astound, Hannibal.//

"I should hate to become too predictable." Hannibal thought about it as they went through the next few steps. "Perhaps I should put on that terrible spandex and save the world a time or two."

That would definitely break his pattern.




//If you do, I want to watch.//

Just saying.

Hannibal laughed. "I'll save the world with the ability to wear several plaids simultaneously," he teased. "Although I'm not entirely certain how that would work."

//Oh, come on,// Jono teased right back, //I'm certain your secondary mutation could come in handy. Your ability to sniff out a polyester blend at twenty paces?//

"No poorly dressed villain can ever hide from me!" Hannibal smirked. "Perhaps all they need is a lesson in proper fashion. I will solve all the problems of your world by dressing people properly."

That...actually might solve a lot of that world's problems, come to think of it.

//I can think of at least two or three problems in my world that could probably actually be solved that way,// Jono mused. //Don't think I won't be tempted to put you to work, Hannibal.//

"It would horrify Logan," Hannibal pointed out.

Which wasn't necessarily a deterrent.

//Perfect,// Jono replied, still smirking. //If he complains, we can send him a framed photo of him in the cake by way of apology.//

Hannibal laughed. "You're not planning on returning there any time soon after that, I hope?"

//I figure I'll give him a few months to cool down,// Jono replied. //Or else have it blown up and put on a billboard in front of the school...//

It would be beautiful, Hannibal. A work of true art.

"Please keep in mind that only one of us is functionally immortal," Hannibal said. "I'll need a bit of warning before you do that."

He thought about it. "And time to install cameras."

He liked Logan, but that would be too good to miss.

//I try not to keep in mind that only one of us is functionally immortal,// Jono pointed out, wrinkling his nose. //But I'll be certain to give you plenty of advance warning all the same.//

Hannibal's smile softened, and he rubbed his thumb along Jono's spine where his hand rested. "I imagine we could work on that. In either direction. We do, after all, live on Fandom."

Jonothon nodded a little as the song came to a close, and then stepped forward to bury his face in Hannibal's shoulder after a few moments more. Because... so help him, sometimes you just needed to bury a face in a shoulder, alright?

//We can talk about it later,// he decided. //We're here to dance, aren't we?//

"We are," Hannibal agreed. He kissed the top of Jono's head and settled his hands at his waist as the band took back over from the DJ and started in on another swing song.

And Jono squared his shoulders and straightened up again like that. Right, then. Stiff upper lip. Since it was the only lip he had any left of, it sometimes got fairly tired doing all the work, though.

//So,// he said, tilting his head a little, //let's dance until they chase us off the floor.//

Hannibal chuckled. "Did you want to get chased off the floor?" He winked as they went through the next steps. "I'm certain we could manage."

//Could make for a fun evening,// Jono teased. //Up t'you, birthday boy.//

... Okay, he couldn't even keep a straight face saying that. 'Birthday boy.' To Hannibal. Really, now.

Hannibal gave him an amused look for that.

"For now, I only want to dance." He led Jono through a twirl. "I enjoy dancing with you."

Jono followed through on that twirl, and then stepped back to Hannibal, giving him the closest to a grin that his face could possibly muster.

//Well, I should hope you do,// he replied. //I'd hate for this trip to be a waste, after all.//

"Time spent with you is never a waste," Hannibal said.

//Flatterer,// Jono accused. //Have you given any more thought to what you'd like t'do when we're finished here?//

"I suppose that depends upon how long we stay," Hannibal answered.

//Oh? And what happens if we leave early, dare I ask?//

Hannibal hummed through a few steps of the dance.

"I do have a list of very rude people I've been meaning to visit. Or I might be persuaded into terrible chips, provided they're followed or preceded by a good meal."

Jono didn't hum, so much as he almost tripped over his own feet for a step or two before regaining his footing, there.

//How rude?//

Congratulations, Hannibal. Jono didn't even hear your mention of chips.

Hannibal raised an eyebrow and steadied Jono until they were back on the beat. "So rude you would undoubtedly approve. I've had no reason yet to go against our agreement."

//No, I know, I didn't think you had,// Jono managed, his feet moving more or less on autopilot now. //It's just that... I think this is the first time you've extended the invitation, is all.//

It was a bit to process.

Okay, it was a lot to process. And Jonothon wasn't completely certain how he felt about it.

"I have been thinking of it for some time," Hannibal confessed. "But if now is not the time, you have only to say."

Jono was silent for a long while, looking thoughtful even while he danced, before, finally, saying, //Tell me about the worst of them.//

Hannibal thought about it, sorting through his mental list as they danced. Which would Jono think was the worst?

"There is one," he eventually said. "He finds young women, and occasionally men, and drugs them. Boxes them up for sale later. I have yet to track down anyone further, but he is the one doing the dirty work, as it were."

//Human trafficking,// Jono replied, eyes narrowing faintly. //Dealt with plenty of that in Glacia, mostly with landen children being sold into servitude. I wouldn't be opposed to raking his brain for details about his distributor, as it were.//

Apparently, Hannibal knew Jonothon very well.

Well, he had married him.

"I recall," Hannibal said. That was, after all, how he'd 'come out' to Jono in the first place, and part of what had caused him to choose this one off his list. "And yes, you can get such information much more quickly than I can. That's the primary reason he's still on my list."

Having to use drugs and investigation was at least a fairly interesting challenge, but it wasn't precisely fast.

[Preplayed with the awesome [ profile] furnaceface! NFB once they're in London, due to distance.]

Date: 2017-02-19 02:40 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Sideways look)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
Whereas Jono's own methods were fast, but came with no small amount of headfuckery as a result.

//Well, then... do you know where to find him?//

Date: 2017-02-19 02:57 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Hmmmm)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Too public,// Jono muttered, shaking his head. //But worth checking in on later. If he finds somebody, I mean...//

He was slipping into that headspace that worried him, and he knew it. The same headspace he'd been talking to Raven about earlier today.

But if there was some good to be done...

Date: 2017-02-19 03:03 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Orly?)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Well, good,// Jono replied, trying to peel his thoughts away from what could potentially come later tonight. That way led to madness, or at least that loss of self that came from letting his Weapon X side out to play, and at least for the time being, he wanted to enjoy dancing. //I'd hate to think we'd wasted a portal to London, after all.//

Date: 2017-02-19 04:52 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Back to being Invisible)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Flatterer,// Jono murmured, giving Hannibal a faintly amused look of approval. //Know how to get me wrapped around your middle finger, don't you?//

He didn't seem to mind all that much.

Date: 2017-02-19 05:01 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Told you so)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//I thought it was fitting,// Jono said loftily. //Be ourselves and hell with the rest? Kind of suits the theme for the night.//

Either that, or something about being completely, irredeemably fucked up. But he wasn't going to voice that one.

Date: 2017-02-19 06:19 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Looking Around)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Find anybody better at being us than we are, and I'll show you a weird weekend on the island,// Jono decided, matching Hannibal step for step with ease. //And even then, they've got a lot to live up to.//

Date: 2017-02-19 09:21 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Told you so)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Well, we've definitely got unique handled,// Jono agreed, matching Hannibal's footwork step for step. To watch them, one might mistakenly think they'd rehearsed this. //People have the rest of the night to try to top us on quality, though.//

Judging by the way some onlookers were whistling and applauding, he figured they'd hold up pretty well.

Date: 2017-02-20 01:30 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Gym uniform!)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//You know,// Jono mused, //I have to appreciate your confidence.//

Really, Jono shared it.

Date: 2017-02-20 02:06 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Told you so)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Oh, good,// Jono teased. //I would hate to think that it was just baseless pride at play.//

Date: 2017-02-20 02:16 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Turtleneck 2)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Has yet to be,// Jono allowed. //Makes you that much more insufferable.//

He sounded fond when he said that, at least.

Date: 2017-02-20 02:23 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Very disappointed in you)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//You and me both, Hannibal,// Jono decided. Because... he wasn't going to pretend for a moment that he wasn't fortunate, really.

Date: 2017-02-20 02:32 am (UTC)
furnaceface: (Orly?)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//I'll have to thank the island for this more often,// Jono decided. //How does one say thank you to an island, anyway?//

The song came to an end, and Jono got swept up in a bow to an applauding crowd without so much as thinking about it.

Date: 2017-02-20 02:34 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Wtf?)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Once the weather figures itself out,// Jono decided. //I suppose I could go ask Krakoa what it is a sentient island might appreciate, too.//

He tended to know these things.

Date: 2017-02-20 02:39 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Mopey)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//He's much more succinct, anyway,// Jono replied. //And... hell if I know. Two sentient islands with weird schools on them go for a date...//

He would have snorted, if he could.

//He's probably too young for her, anyway. And I think she's already got something going on with the Isle of Ikea. Hence, Ingvar.//

Jono hadn't really figured he'd be speculating on the romantic lives of islands tonight, but hey, any conversation was possible in the company of Hannibal, sometimes.

Date: 2017-02-20 02:47 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Back to being Invisible)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
//Might be the easiest way to go about it,// Jono replied, agreeably. //At least the easiest on my bloody head.//

Thinking too hard about how the island worked tended to exacerbate Jono's usual headache.

Date: 2017-02-20 03:51 pm (UTC)
furnaceface: (Dressed Up)
From: [personal profile] furnaceface
And Jonothon followed along, stepping closer into Hannibal's arms again.

//Anyway,// he said, slipping into a contented tone as they danced, //happy birthday.//

Happy, somewhat belated birthday.


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