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Title: Charity
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Seven Heavenly Virtues Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: Charity - Concern for, and active helping of, others.
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.


Will placed his hand on the young man's back, speaking soothing words.

He wasn't really aware of what he was saying. He was just trying to soothe the victim of a violent crime -- the survivor of a crime, he corrected himself.

Within moments, the police had arrived to take over; Will let out a breath, closing his eyes as the young man was wheeled away on a gurney. He had been too shaken up to thank Will, but that didn't matter. He knew that what he had done was appreciated.

The other victim hadn't been so lucky; he thought as he glanced back into the hotel room, catching a brief glimpse of blood-soaked sheets and a blood-spattered wall.

If that young man hadn't managed to crawl to his dropped cell phone and press 911, then they wouldn't have made it here in time to save him. It had been touch and go as it was, but they'd managed to stanch the flow of blood; the medics had taken over when they'd arrived.

He hadn't seen the killer. The man had worn a mask; he'd been waiting in their hotel room, and had jumped out of nowhere and surprised them.

He'd survived. His friend hadn't. That was the way of the world sometimes.

Will knew that this hadn't been Hannibal's work, but still, the excess of blood, the rage that those wounds indicated, bothered him. It felt like Hannibal, in a way.

Well, no, the rage didn't fit. Hannibal never let his killings boil over with rage. He kept that tightly contained, if it was even there. Hannibal didn't look at his murders as the product of anger; they were simply, to him, work that he needed to do.

His approach was cool and calculated. It didn't explode in anger; it was just there, a business to take care of. That attitude was chilling in itself.

Hannibal cared nothing about his victims, or anyone but himself.

The only thing Hannibal cared about was satisfying the need within himself to kill, a need that Will found completely inexplicable, as he'd never felt it.

Well, maybe he had, he reflected. He had needed to kill Hannibal when he had been stuck in jail, when the rage within him had threatened to overflow and spill over. He had looked into that yawning abyss of blackness that wanted to swallow his soul, and almost jumped in.

But he hadn't let himself do that. He had held himself back from that abyss, and he had turned away from the darkness that had beckoned to him.

Later, he had pretended to embrace that darkness in his failed attempt to catch Hannibal. But again, he hadn't given in to it. He'd held himself back, stayed within the light.

He wasn't like Hannibal. He should have known that his act wouldn't fool such a monster; maybe Hannibal had been deceived for a while, but he had to know that Will could never be like him. He had to know that Will would never surrender to his dark side.

He cared too much about people, wanted to help them and protect them. He was the complete opposite of Hannibal in that regard.

Hannibal only pretended to offer help. He offered a false charity.

All Hannibal was really interested in was satisfying his primal urge, his main directive. And that was to kill, to destroy, to take away human life.

Will knew that he himself could never be that callous. Maybe he cared about people too much at times, but he could never turn his back on anyone who needed help. He could never simply walk away, not if there was anything he could do to help.

That was why he had to keep searching for Hannibal, why he had to make sure that the monster was safely locked away from the rest of the human race.

Hannibal was too dangerous to be allowed to roam free in the world.

The only way that he could protect the world and the people in it was to put Hannibal Lecter in prison. And he was determined to achieve that goal, no matter what it took.

Hannibal had nearly killed him once. He had thought that he was going to die, lying there on teh floor and bleeding out, with Abigail's body so close to his own. He had thought that he would join her in death, that the bloodbath Hannibal had created would swallow them both.

But it hadn't. He had lived, and the horror of that night had only solidified his need to help others, to bestow upon them the same second chance he'd been given.

Helping others, being concerned for their welfare, was the reason he'd become a cop, and then a detective. It was the reason that he was a profiler, the reason that he taught classes about serial killers. It was why he did what he did when he went to crime scenes.

Hannibal had only heightened that charity, rather than taken away from it. And Will was sure that his need to serve and protect was only going to keep growing stronger.

It was one of the few things that Hannibal hadn't managed to take away from him, and never would.