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Title: A Simple Choice
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Personal Challenge, 1drabble
Prompt: 7, Change
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.


"I don't deal well with change, Hannibal," Will whispered, unable to look at his lover. "You know that. And I'm terrified that getting rid of the encephalitis is going to change me, that it's going to take away part of who I am and turn me into a different person."

"You can't really believe that," Hannibal said, his voice calm. "The encephalitis hasn't always been with you. The empathy has. It won't be taken away."

"You can't know that for sure." Will finally looked up at Hannibal, his fear written in his eyes. "If that gets taken away from me, then I'm nothing. I'm nobody. I won't really have a place in the world. More importantly, I wont know who I am any more."

"So you believe that your empathic ability defines you, is that it?"

Will didn't know what to say to that question; the answer seemed so obvious to him. Of course his empathic abilities defined who he was; they always had. He had always been the boy who was different, the man who had an ability that no one else could really understand.

His empathy had always set him apart from everybody else; it had always made him different from the norm, made him special. In some ways, he hated those differences; but in others, he'd spent his life clinging to them. They were a part of who he was.

They were who he was. If he didn't have those abilities any more, he wouldn't know what to do with his life. It would feel as though a part of him had been ripped out by the roots, taken away from him against his well. It would feel like a violation.

But on the other hand, he couldn't simply not have the encephalitis treated. If he didn't, it would kill him; the fever and hallucinations would keep going on, and keep getting worse. Eventually, his brain wouldn't be able to take it any more, and would completely shut down.

He didn't want to lose his empathy, but he didn't want to die, either.

In the end, this was a simple choice; it wasn't even a choice, not really. He would have to go through with the treatments, and have the encephalitis gone. There was no way that he could choose retaining his empathy over losing his life.

"Of course I don't think it defines me," he said softly, knowing that his words weren't exactly true. "I just don't want to lose it. But in this case, I might not have a choice."

All he could hope was that the changes heading his way weren't going to change him to such a degree that he would lose an intrinsic part of who he was. Because if they did, then he wouldn't know which way to turn, and he would spend the rest of his life wandering in the darkness.