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Title: Without A Clue
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #561, Clue
Author's Note: Sequel to "More Questions Than Answers."
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Hannibal Lecter or Will Graham, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.


It was so frustrating not to have a clue as to what had happened to him.

Well, no, he knew what had happened, Will told himself, scowling. Someone had attacked him while he was sleepwalking. That was obvious.

What he wanted to know was just who had done this to him. He hated feeling as though he was lost, floundering around in search of someone's identity. Though that was a feeling he should be used to by now, he told himself sourly.

After all, he did that in his work all the time, didn't he? He never knew who a killer was when the FBI first began the search for them.

Maybe he should treat this like just another case.

But he couldn't do that so easily, because the victim was himself. He couldn't take a few steps back and look at this dispassionately. He was too close to it.

That would be impossible to do, since he was the intended victim at the middle of it all. And no one else on their team would be able to simply regard this as being just another case, either. Jack certainly didn't. He was more concerned than Will had expected him to be.

Maybe that was just because he thought he would lose his goose that laid the golden eggs if anything were to happen to him, though.

Will's lips twisted in a parody of a smile; he didn't really believe that Jack cared so much about him, not him as a person. Jack cared about losing one of his agents, the one who added to his cachet because he could use a unique ability to catch criminals.

If it wasn't for that ability, Jack really wouldn't give a damn what happened to him. He would be just another agent, one who Jack barely paid attention to.

Friends? He didn't think they were really friends.

Other people on the team weren't really his friends, either. They worked together, and those people might feel a sort of .... curiosity about him, but they weren't close. He couldn't talk to them. Some of them were even wary of him, or resented him.

His ability set him apart from everyone he worked with, just as it had always set him apart from everyone him all of his life. That wasn't going to change.

Will sighed softly, leaning back in the chair and closing his eyes. He was trying to relax, to let himself push the thoughts about the attack to the back of his mind. Hannibal had wanted to try something new, in the hopes that buried memories might resurface.

Will didn't think it would work, but he was willing to try.

Hannibal had thought that relaxing completely, clearing his mind and pushing all memories away, might be what would make some of them appear.

It was worth a try, Will told himself with a shrug. So he was sitting here, not in the chair that he was usually in when he and Hannibal their sessions, but in the other man's comfortable living room, in a plush chair that he was sure he could fall asleep in.

Oh yes, he could sink in to this chair, curl up and go to sleep. He could be comfortable here all night; all he needed was a blanket and a pillow.

A chair shouldn't be allowed to be this comfortable.

And he shouldn't allow himself to fall asleep, his inner voice reminded him sharply. Yes, he needed to try Hannibal's suggestion, but he couldn't sleep.

Closing his eyes, Will tried to clear his mind, to think about nothing. He tried to let himself float, to push away any and all memories of the attack, to simply drift. But after what felt like a long time, he opened his eyes again, feeling frustrated and wide awake.

The more he tried to clear his mind, the more stubbornly the memories of that night seemed to want to crowd back into his thoughts and not go away.

It was as though his own mind was at war with him, refusing to let him do anything that might help him, that might give him a clue as to his attacker's identity.

This wasn't the first time he'd been at odds with his own mind, but he had never felt this frustrated about it before. Of course, this time, he was trying to solve his own case, to find out who had attacked him, not some person who he had never known.

Things felt very different when he was trying to find out something that related directly to himself. It wasn't a sensation that he was comfortable with.

Neither was being clueless and feeling helpless.

Hannibal strode into the room, sitting down quietly in the chair opposite Will's. Strange, Will thought, that his living room was set up in virtually the same way as his office was.

But that lent the room a sense of familiarity, a comfort that it might not otherwise have had. Will didn't feel awkward or strange being here; he was finding it easy to relax, even though his thoughts wouldn't stop their whirling and dancing in his head.

"Are you managing to take my advice and clear your mind, Will?" Hannibal inquired, one eyebrow raised. "Or is it difficult for you to let your thoughts go?"

"Very difficult," Will admitted with a frown. "I don't think I know how."

"You are not accustomed to pushing your thoughts away, but rather, you have a tendency to embrace them and let them sink into your being," Hannibal told him, shaking his head. "That often isn't healthy, Will. You need to practice clearing your mind."

"That's not as easy as it might sound," Will told him, somehow feeling that he had to be stubborn and make a point. "Especially not for somebody like me."

"That is very true," Hannibal conceded. "For now, perhaps it would be best if you simply tried to think about other subjects, if you let your mind concentrate on something other than your particular situation for a while. To simply get away from it for a bit, not push it away altogether."

That sounded as though it might be simpler for him, Will told himself.

Would he actually be able to do it? That, he wasn't sure of. But he would at least try. There was nothing to be lost by taking Hannibal's advice, was there?

It couldn't hurt. But now that he was sitting here, he wanted to talk about this with Hannibal. Not as if he was a patient talking to his psychiatrist, but as two people simply talking, trying to come up with clues to solve what was a puzzling mystery.

"I still don't have a clue," Will said, his gaze meeting Hannibal's. "Nothing. My mind won't give anything up, and I can't force those memories to come back."

Hannibal nodded, folding his hands in his lap and gazing at Will.

"Without a clue, even one small clue, then our hands are tied -- for the moment," he said, his voice bland and steady. "But we will eventually get to the bottom of this, Will."

"How can you be so sure?" Will asked, knowing that he sounded irritated, but unable to keep that tone out of his voice. "How do you know that my mind is ever going to capitulate and give us what we need? How do you know that it won't just be a mystery forever?"

He didn't want to seem so skeptical of Hannibal's words. He wanted to believe that this man spoke the truth, but he was already so frustrated and angry.

"Because --" Hannibal leaned forward, his gaze meeting Will's and not looking away, "I believe that the man who attacked you will show himself again. I don't believe that he did it as a one-time attempt, Will. I think that he may want you dead."

"And you think that he'll try again, after enough time has passed for me to be lulled into some false sense of security," Will said, his voice soft and thoughtful.

He hadn't thought of that. Not at all.

He had been so focused on the idea that the man who had attacked him had just done so out of rage, out of the fact that he'd been there, an opportune victim, that he hadn't thought of the fact that this might be some person who wanted to get rid of him.

Well, no, he had thought of the possibility that it could be someone who wanted to settle some kind of score with him, but he'd dismissed the idea.

Now, Hannibal's words were forcing him to look at it again -- and he didn't like what he saw there. His mind could put two and two together better than most people's could, and it could also jump to conclusions more quickly. He didn't like any of the conclusions that he saw.

No matter which way he turned, this situation was dangerous.

"There will eventually be light at the end of the tunnel, Will," Hannibal told him, his voice still soft and quiet. "You simply have to wait for it to come to you."

Will nodded, thought the motion was drawn from him reluctantly. He wasn't sure that he agreed with the other man on this; it already seemed to have taken so long, and he was still without a clue as to just who his assailant might be -- and why they had chosen him.

He hoped it wasn't for some sinister purpose that he didn't know about. Because if it was, then he was in even more danger than he'd imagined himself to be.

At the moment, that was the last thing he needed to deal with.