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Title: Confused Reality
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #261, Sorry
Author's Note: Sequel to "Facing His Fears."
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 blinked, not realizing where he was for a few moments.

He was lying on a couch, looking up at the ceiling. He searched his memory for what he'd been doing, and all he could remember was uttering a shriek, one that must have woken him from a sound sleep. But what was he doing sleeping on a strange couch?

This wasn't Hannibal's couch, where he'd fallen asleep before. And it definitely wasn't his own couch at home. It was too narrow, too uncomfortable.

Besides, this wasn't his ceiling. This room wasn't familiar. For just a moment, he panicked, having no idea where he was and what he was doing here. Had he been kidnapped? Was he in some place he didn't want to be, where he had no business being?

He almost sighed with relief when Hannibal's face appeared above him, within his line of vision, a moment later. It was followed by Dr. du Maurier's, looking concerned.

"Are you all right, Will?" she said, her voice very soft and laced with worry. "When you screamed, I woke you up as quickly as I could. I thought you needed to be brought out of the trance. I'm sorry if that's not what you wanted, but I had no other choice."

Will shook his head, scrubbing a hand over his face as he sat up.

"It's okay," he said, feeling weak and more than a little disoriented. "Sorry about the scream. I couldn't help it. What I saw scared the hell out of me."

"What was it, Will?" Hannibal asked him. The doctor sat down next to him, supporting him, helping him to sit up without wavering. "I don't know what you saw, but whatever it was must have been frightening, judging from the scream you let out."

"It was," Will said tersely, feeling the muscles in his shoulders knotting from the tension. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes, trying to force himself to relax.

Would they think he was crazy if he told them what he'd seen? It wasn't possible that a stag could have left those bruises on him. But he was starting to remember more now, and it wasn't exactly a stag that he'd seen in that vision.

No, it wasn't fully a stag. It had a stag's head -- but it had the body of a man. A body that looked, somehow, oddly familiar and foreign at the same time.

He didn't want to think about that right now.

He had to describe what he'd seen, in a way that wouldn't make these two people think he was crazy. It sounded insane, even to his own ears.

But the image was clear in his mind now; he knew what he'd seen? Or did he? Will asked himself. What he had seen in his vision when Dr. du Maurier had hypnotized him probably had no relation to what he might have actually seen in the real world.

A dream, a vision, wasn't going to help him. There was no way of knowing if his mind was recalling, or if he was simply dreaming and replacing reality with his own fears.

How was he going to explain it so that it made sense? It hardly made sense in his own mind; he couldn't expect anyone else to believe what he'd seen.

He almost didn't believe it himself. He was sure that it was just some figment of his imagination, brought on by his own fears and uncertainties about the features of the man who had attacked him. It couldn't be real. No stag could do what this one had apparently done.

"Will, what did you see?" Hannibal's voice was sharper now, more insistent. He wanted to know what had been in that vision, and Will could hardly blame him.

He shook his head, still uncertain of what to say.

"I'm sorry," he began, shaking his head. "I don't know exactly what I saw. It has to be me mixing up some dreams I've had with reality. It can't be real."

He paused, trying to think of just how to describe what he'd seen. "It can't be real," he said again. "What I saw wasn't .... human. It ws a stag, a stag's head on a man's body. It was a combination of fantasy and reality. It isn't going to help."

"It sounds as though you're getting the reality of the man who attacked you confused with some frightening dreams you've had." Dr. du Maurier nodded, frowning.

Will sighed softly, shaking his head. "Me being that confused about what's real and what's not isn't going to help. Sorry to have wasted your time, Dr. du Maurier. I really thought that hypnosis would help, but it just feels like I'm even more confused now."

"It isn't your fault, Will," she said, looking sympathetic. "It was probably such a trauma to be attacked when you were sleepwalking that your mind is blocking it out."

Will nodded, but he knew that wasn't quite true.

He wasn't blocking out the reality of the attack. That was all too clear in his mind, and he had relived it far too many times in his nightmares since it had happened. All he was blocking out was the face of the man who had done this -- if he'd even see that face at all.

He had no way of knowing whether he had or not. And until he could pinpoint a face in his mind, even hazy features, there was no way he could move forward.

"I'm sorry," he said again, wishing that he could give Hannibal and Dr. du Maurier more to go on. But his stubborn mind refused to give him a clear picture of reality, instead superimposing the fantasy that he knew couldn't be real over what he knew had been there.

It was beyond frustrating not to be able to access what had actually happened. And Will knew that until he did, the nightmares would continue.

He jammed his hands into his pockets as he stood up, wishing that he could do more, but feeling that he was at the end of the line with this road of inquiry. He had no idea where to turn now in the search for the man who had attacked him, how else to search for that identity.

At this point, it felt like there was nowhere left to turn.