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Title: Deceiver
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #2, Appearances are deceiving
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 love you," Will whispered, his voice merely a breath of air.

Hannibal closed his eyes, his arms tightening around Will as the young man leaned back against him. That wasn't something he'd expected to hear just yet, even though he was sure that Will had been feeling it for some time now.

He simply hadn't thought that Will would put his emotions into words so soon, that he would let his feelings be known. Hannibal had thought he would wait.

But then, his Will was full of surprises. It was one of the reasons that Hannibal had fallen in love with him; Will was never exactly what he expected, and he liked that. He was never bored with Will; this was one person he would never get tired of being with.

How would Will feel when he learned the truth? Would his love evaporate then, or would he be able to see past what Hannibal was and still care for him?

He had already decided that he was going to stop killing. He would even give up his .... "special" way of preparing food. He would give up everything that Will could possibly think was horrific about him, just to be with this young man forever.

Will meant that much to him.

He had been deceiving his young lover for far too long, Hannibal thought with a soft sigh. It was time to be honest with Will, to let him know just who and what he was, and try to explain to Will why he'd done those things. It was time to come clean.

Doing that wouldn't be easy; he knew that he would see horror in Will's eyes, and possibly fear. But he had to take that chance.

He couldn't keep lying to Will. Not if he wanted them to have a future together. Eventually, he would be found out, and then Will would leave him. There was no doubt about that. Will wouldn't stay in this relationship if the lies built and multiplied.

The last thing in the world he wanted was to lose Will. That wasn't an option. He wanted to keep his lover with him forever, always by his side.

He hadn't thought that he would fall in love with Will. He'd thought that he was impervious to what he called the weaker emotions, and it had come as a surprise to him that he'd fallen prey to such feelings. But now that he had, he could no longer deny them.

He had always been a deceiver. But that had to stop.

Will deserved to know the truth. He deserved to be able to make his own decisions about his future, and what he wanted to do with this relationship.

If Will chose to leave, then he would have to accept that, though his heart would be broken. Still, he hoped that he would be able to convince his young lover to stay with him, convince him that he would give up all that he'd done, all that he had been for so long.

He had to. He had no choice in the matter. If he wanted to keep Will with him, he could no longer be the killer that he had long ago become used to being.

Appearances were deceiving. He'd known that for a very long time. He had deceived everyone around him into believing that he was a law-abiding citizen, that he wasn't the type of person who went in for wholesale killing, that he was a good man.

He knew that he wasn't, but he was ready to try and traverse that path. For Will. For their relationship. He was ready to do anything to keep his young lover by his side, in his arms, in his bed. For Will, he would try to live up to the appearances he had always presented.

"I love you, too," he murmured, knowing that the words had to be said. He could no longer hold them back. He had to say them aloud, finally.

And now that he had, he could almost feel his heart opening up. It was as though saying the words aloud, admitting his innermost feelings to Will, had freed something within him. He felt rejuvenated, reborn. He felt as though he could conquer the world.

Yes, he would be able to stop killing. His cannibalism, his murders were now a thing of the past. With Will by his side, he didn't need them any more.

All he needed was Will, and his love.

With Will here, in his arms, he felt contented. Whenever they made love, and he held Will afterwards as the young man was drifting off to sleep, he felt that same contentment. It was a feeling that he'd never had before; it was one that he wanted to keep.

He wanted this contentment, this happiness, to stay with him forever. And Will was the only chance he had to keep that happiness in his life.

Without Will, that happiness would disappear, evaporate like steam. He didn't want that to happen; being with Will was the first time since he'd been a very young child that he'd felt true happiness. He wasn't ready to let it go; he didn't ever want to give it up.

He had never thought he would find this kind of happiness in his life. He had to do everything he could to ensure that it would stay.

If that meant giving up what had been a part of him for so long, then he would gladly do it. He would stop being a deceiver; he would be honest with Will about everything from now on. He simply had to take that first, most difficult step into honesty.

What would Will do? Would he run, or would he understand?

"I was afraid to say it," Will admitted, sounding sheepish. "I was afraid those words would make you run away. But I'm glad I could finally get it out, Hannibal. I've wanted you to know for a while just how I felt about you. It's a relief to have it out in the open at last."

Hannibal nodded, a small smile on his lips. He needed that relief himself. He needed to let Will know about who he was, and why he'd been that way.

Would he feel better once he'd done it, and Will had reacted in whatever way he did? Would he lose Will for good with those words, or would he be able to bind his young lover closer to him? He had no way of knowing just what would happen once the truth was out.

But whatever happened, he knew that he had to be honest. He couldn't keep deceiving Will any longer. The time for that deception was past.

It was time. Time to stop being something that Will would run from, and to start being the man he wanted, the man he would be proud to be with. Time to stop being a deceiver. Hannibal opened his mouth, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. It was time to say the words.

"Will, I have something very important to tell you."