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Title: Black Burning Heart
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
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.


Three days.

It had been three days since that morning in Hannibal's house, three days since he'd even talked to the man who he supposed was now his lover, much less laid eyes on him. Will simply didn't know what to say or how to behave the next time they saw each other.

He knew what he wanted to say, but given that Hannibal hadn't tried to get in touch with him, even when he'd missed an appointment yesterday, he had no idea what the other man would think about what he had to say when they were finally face to face again.

Will sighed softly, leaning forward in his chair and wincing. Even though it had been three days, he could swear that he still felt sore from their lovemaking.

Lovemaking? Could it possibly be called that? It hadn't like love; it had felt like a slaking of mutual lust, and that was what he needed to talk to Hannibal about. He wanted what they'd done to be more than just physical; he wanted the physical to lead to something more.

Was he crazy to have such strong feelings for Hannibal?

After all, it wasn't as though Hannibal had shown those same feelings towards him. He really couldn't even say that they were friends; they were colleagues, in some ways, but if it was a friendship, it was an uneasy one at best. At worst, they were mere acquaintances.

No, they were more than that, Will told himself firmly. Hannibal knew more about him than anyone else had in a very long time, even though he wasn't technically a patient.

Maybe he couldn't call what was between them by such a word as "love," and maybe he couldn't really say that the two of them were merely friends. They were somewhere in between friends and lovers, in an awkward, uncomfortable situation that he had no words for.

What would Hannibal think of it? They needed to talk; if they didn't, then there would be a huge elephant in the room every time they met, and things would only get more uncomfortable from there. They had to clear the air, to know just what their situation was.

Hannibal would probably say it was lust. Just lust, nothing more than that.

But was it more? Will asked himself, a frown marring his brow. To him, it was. He couldn't say that he was in love with Hannibal, but there was definitely some unnamed emotion hovering just beneath the surface of their strained, strange relationship.

All right, so maybe it wasn't love. But it was some emotion that came from the depths of his heart, a burning, searing emotion that was eating him from the inside out.

He couldn't put a name to what he felt, and he didn't really want to. It was too soon for that, too early in this odd relationship to face whatever emotion it was that slowly swam to the surface of his consciousness. But whatever it was, he'd have to face it at some point.

This wasn't the time. For the moment, he had to reconcile what they'd done with the rest of his life, and find out if there was any reason to hope that it would happen again. And again, and again ... .as many times as they both wanted it to happen.

Will's breath caught in his throat at the thought of Hannibal touching him so intimately again.

Not just touching him -- but fucking him. That's what it had been; fucking on a pure and simple level, the two of them assuaging needs that had coincided and collided with a force that neither of them had known they would. It had been appetite, and opportunity.

No, Will thought, shaking his head. It had been more than that. There were emotions buried inside him that he wasn't ready to acknowledge yet; somewhere deep in that black lump of coal that he thought of as his heart, there was something stirring that he couldn't put a name to.

Was it love? Or was it merely desire and nothing more? He didn't want to ask himself that question yet; he wasn't ready to come up with an answer.

But somewhere in that black burning heart that beat within his chest, he already knew the answer. He just didn't want to let himself put those emotions into words, to let himself admit that what he felt was more than just a desire that would eventually burn out and fade away.

He didn't know how long whatever he and Hannibal were developing between them would last. Maybe it would fade away quickly once they had assuaged their mutual lust for each other enough times; maybe slaking that lust would make it die a quick death.

He didn't know that for sure. But one thing he did know was that he wanted more of Hannibal. He hadn't had nearly enough of the man he had desired for so long.

He needed Hannibal. Needed his touch, his hands, his lips, his body.

Will closed his eyes, heaving a sigh of resignation. He would have to see Hannibal again as soon as he could. He had deliberately skipped one of their "appointments," not sure what he was going to say to the other man But he couldn't do that again.

If he had the audacity to skip another of their impromptu psychiatric sessions, then Hannibal might not want to see him in that way any more. And he needed those sessions; he needed the insight that Hannibal seemed to have into his psyche.

With all of his ability to see into criminals' minds, he had a hard time seeing into his own. For that, he needed Hannibal. He couldn't give up that lifeline into his soul.

If he didn't have Hannibal in his life to force him to shine a light into those dark corners of his own mind, then it would be far too easy for him to fall into the minds of criminals, even easier than it already was. And he knew that he could just as easily get lost in the depths of those minds.

Once he allowed that to happen, he might never get out again.

He couldn't risk that, Will told himself, feeling shaky and panicked. He couldn't risk going so deeply into the darkness that he was somehow able to touch that he lost himself in it; that wasn't a way that he wanted to go. The very thought was terrifying.

Without Hannibal, it might be all too easy for that to happen. He didn't want to think that it was possible, but he knew all too well that it was, and he also knew that if it did, that tiny spark of hope concealed in his black burning heart, the hope of being with Hannibal, would be extinguished.

He wasn't yet ready to give up that hope, impossible though it might be that it could come true. He couldn't let that spark die, not as long as he had life left in him.

So maybe it wasn't the best idea to think that he and Hannibal could have a future together. But everyone had to dream, didn't they? And if his dreams might seem a little odd to some people .... well, no one had ever accused him of being a completely normal guy.

Would it be wrong of him to see Hannibal now? Will chewed at his bottom lip as he looked up athe clock on the wall; it wasn't all that late, and it wasn't like he hadn't turned up on Hannibal's doorstep at night before. But he'd always called first, let the doctor know that he was coming over.

This time, he wasn't going to call. He was going to go to Hannibal's house, and they were going to talk. He'd pour out his soul, if he had to.

He had to let all the secrets held inside his black burning heart out into the open.

If he didn't do it now, then he might either talk himself out of it, or lose his nerve. Standing up, Will headed for the front door, grabbing his jacket on the way out. He had the feeling that he wouldn't be back home tonight -- and he hoped that he would wake up in a bed other than his own.