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Title: Of Love and Bruises
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Will Graham/Sherlock Holmes
Fandom: Hannibal/Sherlock
Rating: PG-13
Table: 61, 5_prompts
Prompt: 4, Bruised
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.


He'd thought of Will, and here he was.

Sherlock looked up as Will came down the stairs, smiling and holding out a hand to him. "I was feeling as if I might come up to your room," he said softly. "But you've come to me."

"I needed to," Will told him, his voice very soft. He crossed the short span of space to the couch, sitting down beside Sherlock and turning towards him. "I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing. I needed to be with you. Close to you."

"I needed that, too," Sherlock told him, putting aside the book that he'd been trying to read. "I think I read the same page four times, and I don't have a clue as to what it was about."

Will laughed, shaking his head ruefully.

"Nobody's ever affected me this way before, Sherlock," he said, his words hesitant. "It scares me a little, to be this attracted to someone. Any time I've ever thought I cared about somebody before, I've always gotten hurt. I don't want it to happen again."

"Oh, Will." Sherlock slid his arms around the younger man, pulling Will into his arms. "I'm not going to hurt you, my sweet. I would never do that."

"I know you wouldn't." Will sighed as he rested his head on Sherlock's shoulder, closing his eyes. "I'd never hurt you, either. But I know we've both been bruised before, even though neither of us have ever been involved with anyone. And we might bruise each other more."

"That's probably going to happen in the course of a relationship," Sherlock agreed. "It's said that the course of true love never runs smoothly."

"Especially for two people who've never been in love before and might not know how to deal with it," Will said, his tone somber. "How are we going to avoid hurting each other at times, Sherlock? And are we going to be able to deal with it when we do?"

Sherlock closed his eyes, thinking about what Will had said.

Yes, they had both been bruised by some things in their lives, Will more so than him. Will's bruises were more recent,and infinitely painful.

Will felt betrayed by people he'd thought were his friends. Sherlock had felt that way before, but his betrayal had been much less than Will's. He hadn't been framed for murders he didn't commit by someone he'd looked at as a friend.

No, that kind of betrayal went bone-deep, and it was something that he hadn't experienced. Sherlock hoped that he never would; that kind of pain would be hard to bear.

But somehow, Will had dealt with it, and come out stronger on the other side. Sherlock admired him for that; such strength was an amazing testament to the kind of man Will was.

The kind of man who he was proud to have by his side. The kind of man who he was proud to have fallen in love with. Bruises and all, Will was one in a million. No, not just that, Sherlock corrected himself. Will was one in a lifetime, a completely unique person.

And somehow, he was the one who had been lucky enough to win this man's heart. Even with all of his own bruises, Will still saw something in him.

In spite of his own pain, Will was still reaching out.

How many other people would do that? Sherlock didn't think he knew anyone who was as selfless as Will, who would reach out to another person to offer them comfort they perceived was needed even when they themselves were hurting. Will was truly an incredible man.

He was the strongest person Sherlock had ever known. He had survived so much, and he was still strong and beautiful and unmarred, still standing tall.

Of course, he knew that Will carried inner scars from this, and probably always would. He hated the people who had put those scars there; he had already made a vow to himself that he would do all he could to see that they paid for their crimes. With their freedom, if possible.

He would see to it that Will's bruises, his scars, everything those bastards had made him suffer, was avenged. He would make sure of that, if it was the last thing he ever did.

Will's question was a good one, and he wasn't quite sure how to answer it. But he had to. He had to let the other man know that he believed they would be together, and stay together, even if there were times when they managed to bruise each other.

Sherlock took a deep breath, speaking slowly.

"We may not always have a smooth path ahead of us, Will," he began, choosing his words carefully. "Yes, there may be times when we hurt each other, without meaning to."

He went on, before Will had a chance to speak. "But I think those times will be few and far between, and I think that when they happen, we'll be able to soothe those bruises and repair any damage. I think that we'll be able to fix the hurt. I really do."

Will was silent for a few moments before nodding in agreement, his face serious. "I do, too. I don't think either of us would ever hurt the other one deliberately."

Sherlock reached out to touch Will's face, to smooth his hair back.

"I'd never do that, and I don't believe that you would, either," he said, his voice very soft. "We'll always be careful not to bruise each other, Will."

"And if we do, then we'll just have to soothe those bruises until they go away," Will said, the soft smile that curved his lips going directly to Sherlock's heart. "I think we'll be able to manage that. And I don't think we'll have to do it very often."

Sherlock nodded, his gaze meeting Will's as they slowly leaned towards each other. When their lips met, all thought of bruises left his mind.

All he could think of was Will, and the moment that they were sharing.