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Title: Dangerous Words
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #398, Dangerous
Author's Note: Sequel to "Too Many Mistakes."
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, it's dangerous for you to walk in the woods by yourself." Hannibal's voice was firm, his gaze concerned. "Not until you know who was following you."
Will shook his head, frowning at the other man. "Nobody's followed me since that one day. Unless they're very quiet about it, and I don't think that's possible. Not in those woods. Besides, I've always had a couple of the dogs with me, and they'd know."
"Be that as it may, I don't want you harmed."
Hannibal actually sounded worried about him, Will thought, raising his eyebrows. Ever since he'd told his lover about being followed, Hannibal had been .... solicitous.
No, more than that. He'd actually been worried, admonishing Will about doing things that could get him hurt, and telling him that he had to look after himself better. He hadn't really expected this level of care, not from Hannibal.
He knew that Hannibal cared about him. Of course he did. They wouldn't be lovers if there wasn't some kind of caring on Hannibal's part.
But lately, he'd felt himself backing away from Hannibal, feeling that there wasn't something quite right about their relationship. He didn't know why, but there was something off about them, something that didn't feel safe to him.
Why should he feel that way about his lover? Will was at a loss; he couldn't explain where that feeling came from. He just knew that it was there.
It was a feeling that he wasn't at all comfortable with.
He'd been worried before that Hannibal was drawing away from him, and now it seemed like things were the other way around. He was now the one backing off.
He had no reason to, Will told himself. Not really. Just this strange feeling that there was something hidden under the surface of Hannibal's demeanor, something that he wasn't showing Will. And whatever it was made Will uneasy and wary.
He wanted to shake off this feeling, to push it away and tell himself that things were going back to normal between the two of them. But he couldn't.
For some reason, the feeling persisted, and he couldn't shake it off.
Why did he feel uneasy around Hannibal now? He shouldn't, he told himself. This man was his lover. He wanted their relationship to stay on firm, solid ground.
Why did he feel as though that ground was shifting beneath him, as though things were changing between them? Will didn't like that feeling; he had thought that when he and Hannibal became involved, his life would be more stable, more secure.
Instead, it seemed as though his life was starting to spin out of control again, as though there were things happening in the background that he couldn't control.
He shouldn't feel that way. There was no reason to. Hannibal had given him no reasons for distrust; he didn't know why he was feeling so uncomfortable lately.
It just seemed that there was something hiding behind those eyes, something dangerous that could jump out at him any moment. There was something in the air whenever he was around Hannibal, something that made him cautious, made him draw back.
Will hated that feeling. He hated knowing that there was some sort of barrier between the two of them that he apparently couldn't break down.
There shouldn't be any barriers between lovers.
"It's far too dangerous for you to walk in the woods alone, even with the dogs for protection," Hannibal told him, his tone faintly scolding. "Don't do it again, Will."
"What, I'm supposed to stay locked up in my house all the time, afraid to go outside?" Will shook his head, frowning. "I'm not going to do that, Hannibal. I'm not going to stop living my life, or being afraid to live it. I'm not going to let some unknown person get to me like that."
"The unknown factor is what I'm worried about." Hannibal sat back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest and studying Will. "You could stay here for a while."
Only a few weeks ago, that offer would have made him jump for joy.
But now, given the new turn in their relationship, he only felt wary, wondering why Hannibal was suddenly so concerned about his safety.
Somehow, it felt .... well, suspect. Hannibal hadn't seemed this worried about him before, and the fact that his worries seemed belated only made Will wonder if he knew more than he was saying about that stalker in the woods.
Could Hannibal possibly have some idea who it was? If he did, then he obviously didn't want to tell Will, or he would have done so already.
Slowly, Will shook his head, not knowing exactly why he didn't want to stay with Hannibal on a regular basis, but knowing that he couldn't. "No, I think it's best if I stay at home except for the few nights I spend here. It just doesn't feel right for me not to be there."
"Will, promise me that you at least won't go walking in the woods after dark," Hannibal said. "You know that could be dangerous for anyone."
Will was forced to agree with that; on this issue, Hannibal was right.
It wasn't safe for anyone to walk in the woods alone at night, even with dogs by their side. He'd been foolish to think that he was the exception to the rule.
He was used to dangerous situations, but this was one that could easily spiral out of control if he was the least bit careless. And if someone was stalking him in the woods, and possibly keeping an eye on his home as well, he had to be more vigilant.
"I'm used to being in danger, Hannibal," he finally said with a soft sigh. "But if it'll make you feel better, I'll stop walking in the woods at night. And I'll be more careful."
Hannibal nodded, a small smile quirking his lips.
"It would make me feel a great deal better, Will," he said softly. "I would be devastated if anything happened to you, as you should well know by now. The last thing I want is to see you harmed, and I believe that deep within yourself, you're aware of that fact."
Those words sounded so sincere, but they still left Will feeling uneasy. He had the definite feeling that those words, obviously meant to be soothing, were more dangerous than they might seem.
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