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Title: Deceptive Appearances
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #2, Appearances are deceiving
Author's Note: One-shot.
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.


Hannibal stared at his reflection, wondering if he looked a little too well-groomed for the evening. He had told Will that they would be having a casual, relaxed dinner, and that afterwards, they could either talk, watch a film, or even go for a walk around the neighborhood.

That wasn't really what he wanted to do, but he had to ease Will into the place where he wanted the younger man to be. There was no sense in rushing him into a relationship.

If Will was pushed, that would only make him draw back, and possibly run in the opposite direction as fast as he could go. That was the last thing Hannibal wanted; he wanted the young man intrigued by him, not afraid of him. He didn't want Will to run.

He didn't want the young man to become suspicious, either.

Hannibal knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if Will started to have suspicions about him, then he would have to follow those suspicions until he found answers. Will wasn't the type of person to turn away from any questions he might have, no matter where they might lead.

And that could very well necessitate having to dispose of Will, which he didn't want to do. He wanted to keep this young man for as long as he could; he found Will fascinating in a myriad of ways, and he readily admitted that he wanted the boy in his bed.

Getting rid of his plaything was the last thing he wanted -- at least, not until he had savored Will's body to the fullest. Then, and only then, would he consider disposing of the boy. But still, it seemed a terrible waste to end such beauty, even when Hannibal was done with him.

Maybe he wouldn't get rid of Will at all. Maybe he would let the young man live, though that could only happen if he was kept in the dark about .... certain aspects of Hannibal's life.

It would never do for Will to know too much about him.

No, that could be dangerous for both of them. Dangerous for Hannibal because Will wasn't the type of person to keep quiet about anything he considered morally wrong, and dangerous for Will because if he found out more than he should and didn't keep quiet, he would have to die.

Will thought of him as a benevolent friend, someone who he could turn to in times of need. In a shot span of time, Will would also think of hm as a lover. He would become all that Will wanted -- and needed -- him to be, donning a mask like a second skin.

In truth, appearances could be deceiving. He didn't intend for Will to know the truth about him -- nto until it was far, far too late for the young man to do anything with his knowledge. When Will faced death, he would do so without revealing the truth about Hannibal to the rest of the world.

He really didn't like to think about getting rid of Will, though. When that happened -- and it was an foregone conclusion; he'd known that from the first time he'd laid eyes on Will -- it would only be after Hannibal knew that he had no more use for the boy.

It would be a terrible loss; Will was a rare beauty, and he had intelligence to go with the good looks. He was more than just another victim for Hannibal's kitchen.

Which was exactly why Hannibal intended to do more with him that simply taunt and tease him before the final denouément. He wanted Will; he couldn't deny that. And he had never denied himself anything he wanted -- within reason, that was.

It was entirely reasonable for him to grant himself the pleasure of having Will.

He hadn't been with anyone for quite a while; he simply hadn't felt the need. But there was something about Will that made his body come alive with desire; he wanted Will in a way that he'd never wanted anyone else. It was actually a bit of a shock to him.

Will was never to know the depths of his desire, of course. He wouldn't give himself away like that; he would never let anyone know exactly what he was feeling. Will would know that he was desired, but he would never be allowed to think that maybe, just maybe, Hannibal might need him.

That would give WIll too much of the upper hand. So Hannibal would keep the intensity of his desire hidden, and simply let Will think that he was only wanted as a temporary plaything. He would never know about the raging desire that Hannibal kept hidden within.

Appearances could be more than deceptive, Hannibal thought with a slow smile. A calm exterior could hide a myriad of emotions -- and needs.

He would never admit out loud that he needed Will -- he would keep that small tidbit of information to himself. If Will had that kind of knowledge, it would give him too much power, too much leverage. And that was one thing that Hannibal couldn't have.

He always had to have the upper hand in any situation. If he didn't, then he would be reduced to being a follower, and not the leader. That was one situation that he would never countenance. He always had to lead, to be in control. That was the way of things.

Will would never be allowed to have any sort of control over him.

But didn't he already have that? an annoying little voice in the back of Hannibal's mind had the audacity to ask. Didn't Will already wield some control -- and power -- over him, just because of the fact that Hannibal needednot deceive him. He would keep a close eye on Will, make sure that the young man wasn't allowed to seize the reins of power.

That deceptively slight, fragile appearance wasn't going to take him in. He wouldn't have the wool pulled over his eyes. He would be on the lookout for any strengths that Will might possess -- and he would find a way to use them against his young lover.

This would be a battle of wits that Will Graham had no hope of winning.

He would appear charming and urbane, until it was too late for Will to escape the snare that Hannibal had set for him. He was absolutely positive that the boy was already caught; all that remained was for Hannibal to reel him in, slowly but surely.

Will already belonged to him, even if the young man didn't realize that just yet. He had already given himself over; Hannibal was in full control, as he always should be.

He intended to enjoy Will, as he had been meant to do. He had the definite feeling that the relationship they would build could last for a very long time; Will was different from anyone else he'd ever wanted this sort of a connection with. They would share something special.

But in the end, that connection wouldn't save Will, unfortunately. Hannibal knew himself well enough to know that at some point, he would grow tired of Will, having gotten all from the boy that he needed. And then, he would send Will to his death, dispatch him with aplomb and fervor.

Even then, appearances would be deceptive. He wouldn't let Will know what was going to happen until those last moments -- then, and only then, would Will look into his eyes and see death reflected there, and know what Hannibal had intended for him all along.

Hannibal turned away from the mirror with a satisfied smile. Yes, that would be the proper ending to their story. But first, he intended to enjoy Will to the fullest, to fill himself with the young man in a number of ways before the inevitable end.

He would appear to be everything that Will wanted and needed. He was good at that.

He could make himself appear to be whatever Will thought he needed, and slowly ease any suspicions or fears that the young man might have. He would slowly draw Will in, turning him around and around in those sticky threads of his spider's web until Will was irretrievably caught.

The process of chaining Will to him had already begun. He only had to take it a step further each time they saw each other, and before long, Will would belong to him completely -- heart, body and soul. Hannibal knew exactly where to go from there.

He heard the doorbell ring as he hastened towards the stairs. The evening was about to begin; it was time to put on that deceptive mask and lead the lamb forward to slaughter.