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Title: The Night Is Bleeding
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Rating: Rating: R
Author's Note: One-shot.
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.
***Blood. So much blood.
It was everywhere -- coating the ground he walked on, the sky, the horizon. Blood filled his vision, blood filled his mouth. Will could taste it on his tongue; he could smell the coppery, metallic scent. It was both repellent and sweet at the same time.
He took a deep breath, and suddenly wanted to gag. The blood was rising in his throat; if he coughed, it would pour out of him in a flood.
All around him, the night was bleeding. The stag stood in front of hm, head lowered nearly to the ground, blood shining on its antlers.
Where had all this blood come from? This wasn't a crime scene; there was no one else here. He was alone; the silence all around him was eerie, as though the world was holding its breath, waiting for something to happen, waiting for the climax that was still to come.
Where was he? Will turned around in a circle, trying to pinpoint his location, but he couldn't. He'd never been here before; there was nothing about this clearing in the woods that was familiar. The only thing that didn't feel strange and out of place was the stag.
It looked smaller than it had in the past, more defeated, as though its lifeblood was slowly pouring out of it, leaving it weak and deflated.
That was exactly how he'd been feeling lately.
Will inadvertently took a step towards the animal; it lifted its head, its dark eyes flashing under the silvery light that poured down from the full moon that rose high above them. It looked wary, as though it knew him but didn't want to suffer his presence.
Why was it here? Why was he here? And just where was "here"? Nothing seemed to make sense; he felt that he was caught up in someone else's dream.
The blood didn't come from the stag; he couldn't see any gouges in the animal's flanks. It was bloodied, but it wasn't bleeding. And neither was he, at least as far as he could tell; if he was, he was in shock, and had long since ceased to feel any pain.
No, he was sure that he wasn't the cause of all this blood. There was far more carnage here than could be contained in his slight body.
Where had all this blood come from? Whose was it?
Will could feel panic beginning to rise in him; he tried to push it back, but it only grew. He needed to get out of here, needed to find his home, to curl up on his couch and close his eyes, to forget what he was seeing here and push the world away, even if only for a while.
Had looking through the eyes of too many killers finally made him snap? Was he seeing something that wasn't even here? Was all of this contained in his mind, and nowhere to be had in the real world? What was wrong with him? What was happening to him?
Hannibal would know the answer to that. He had to get out of here, had to find Hannibal, had to ask him what was going on. Hannibal could search out the truth.
When he looked up again, there seemed to be even more blood. His vision sharpened, intensified, the blood growing more red, brighter against the stark white of drifting snow.
The night was bleeding. All around him, the night was coughing up more and more blood, coughing out its lifeblood to lie upon the ground. He was standing in it, swimming in it; he couldn't see anything else now other than the sea of blood that was threatening to swallow him up.
The night was bleeding, and it felt as though his soul was bleeding along with it.
His hands hurt. He could feel a sharp pain gathering there, a pain that pierced through to the center of his being. He didn't know why his hands hurt so badly.
WIll lifted those trembling hands in front of him .... and screamed.
There were two perfectly formed stigmata marks in his palms, and blood was gushing from them. The night was bleeding, and he was the night; he was the darkness all around him, throwing out his lifeblood into the void, giving up his very essence.
The stag's antlers shone red with blood -- his blood. Had the stag gored him? Will looked down at himself, expecting to see a hole in his stomach, sure that his body was caving in on itself, that the stag had helped to expand this rush of blood.
But no, his body was intact. The only blood was rushing from his hands, as though he was some kind of martyr without a cross to hold him upright.
The stag lowered its head, pawing the ground. Will's eyes widened as he took a step away from it -- a step that came just an instant too late.
The stag lowered its head and charged ....
And Will awoke in his own bed, screaming, his hands held up in front of him. He blinked, taking a deep breath, afraid to look at them -- but there were no stigmata marks. There was no blood. He was drenched in sweat, the sheets tangled around him, but he was safe.
These dreams were getting more frequent -- and more bloody. As well as more disturbing, Will told himself wryly. He was surprised that the dogs hadn't woken him; he was sure that he'd been tossing and turning violently in his sleep, and probably making odd noises, too.
One thing about the dream stuck out, even though a good deal fo it had already faded into the mists of his memory. He'd clearly thought of Hannibal.
Why would he have thought of the man who had only recently become his lover in a dream? Had he thought that Hannibal would somehow save him, like the proverbial white knight on horseback? That wasn't Hannibal's style. Just the thought was ridiculous.
Hannibal would be the first person to agree with that assessment.
Will looked over at the clock, groaning as he flopped back down onto the pillows. It was four o'clock in the morning, far too late -- or too early -- to get up and drive to Hannibal's. He would have to wait until later in the day, or night, to be able to talk about this newest dream.
What did it mean? Why was the stag trying to -- apparently -- kill him? Why did it seem as though he was trying to take on the weight of the world?
Slowly, Will sat up, running a hand through his hair. The sheets were soaked with sweat; he'd have to change them before he would be able to go back to sleep. Maybe it was best if he didn't try to sleep any more tonight; he doubted any other dreams would be pleasant ones.
He didn't want to dream again. He'd had enough of dreams, enough of being disturbed and afraid, enough of wondering what was wrong with him. He'd had enough of not being able to sleep. Hannibal -- or someone -- had to find a way to make this stop.
But even as the thought crossed his mind, he knew that it wouldn't stop.
This was his destiny. This was his design. This was part of who he was, and it wasn't simply going to go away just because he wanted it to disappear.
He'd have to get used to it. He had been carrying this with him for all of his life; he should know by now that he couldn't escape. He'd just have to make do as best he could, learn to live with it -- and if he couldn't, then he would have to find a way to end his life.
Will shuddered at the thought. He hoped it would never come to that.
He stood up on trembling legs, heading down the stairs. He would change the sheets on the bed later. But for the moment, he needed to turn on the lights, to hold back the night that seemed to close in all around him. A night that still felt as though it was teeming with blood.
If it was, then that blood wasn't coming from him. Will studied his hands again, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath before he studied his palms again. No marks. No blood. It had been a dream, he told himself. Only a dream. There was nothing to be afraid of.
Outside Will's house, the night slumbered steadily on, as though it was oblivious to the emotional disarray of the young man behind those walls.
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