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Title: Decompression
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "Stop."
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.


He needed to relax, to decompress. To take his mind off everything around him.

WIll sighed softly as he stared out at the water of the lake, wishing that he'd brought his fishing gear along with him. It was his main way of relaxing.

Fishing helped him to get his mind off everything in his life; he would simply cast out the line and let his mind wander, clear it of all the things that disturbed him. It was the only way lately that he could let himself drift, cut himself off from all of his worries.

But today, he hadn't thought about doing that. He had only wanted to take a walk, to think about things, to get away from the house and the four walls that hemmed him in.

He needed this time at home to decompress, to get away from everything. But it felt that lately, even the home in the middle of the woods didn't give him the relaxation he needed. It was just another place for him to think, for him to stress out.

His home had always given him a sense of peace, but now, it almost felt as though his problems and all of his worries followed him there and didn't leave.

Will's mouth twisted in a wry smile at the thought.

Hannibal would tell him that he couldn't run from his problems, and advise him to try to fix them one step at a time, rather than look for an escape from them.

But how was he supposed to turn and face his problems, when they felt as if they loomed above him, ready to rend him limb from limb with teeth and claws? They seemed far too big to take on at the moment; it was easier to try to push them away.

If only those disturbing visions would stop coming to him in his dreams, visions of himself covered in blood, reduced to nothing more than a statistic.

If only he could stop envisioning himself as a victim.

How many times had he tried to tell himself that those visions weren't prophetic, that he wasn't seeing his own death spelled out in front of him?

Everyone tried to tell him that, Will thought with a sigh. Well, not everyone -- he hadn't told many people about those dreams. At this point, he'd really only told Hannibal, though he couldn't be sure if the other man hadn't told Jack, as well.

Maybe he should talk to Jack; maybe that would take some of the pressure away and make him feel a bit better. Maybe his boss should know how he was feeling.

But if Jack did know how he was feeling, it wouldn't really make a difference, WIll thought sourly, kicking a rock into the water and watching the resultant ripples.

Jack expected him to keep going indefinitely, like the Energizer Bunny with new batteries. He didn't seem to understand that getting inside the minds of killers came with a price -- and that Will was the only person who had to pay that price.

He was the one who had to deal with the aftereffects. He was the one who was starting to break down, slowly but surely.

Nobody gave a damn about how his work affected him.

The only person who actually seemed to care what Hannibal, and Will couldn't help but wonder why. Was it because Hannibal considered him a friend, or was it for some other reason?

Did Hannibal really see him as a friend, or just as some kind of experiment, someone who had an unusual ability that he wanted to know more about? Did Hannibal care about him, or did he simply want to get into Will's head, just as Will got into the minds of killers?

That was too bizarre to even try to contemplate. Will closed his eyes, shaking his head, wishing that such a thought hadn't occurred to him.

It just made him feel more tense, more keyed-up.

Usually, coming to the lake, just sitting here and thinking, helped him to decompress. But today, it seemed that wasn't going to work in the way that it usually did.

No, all it was doing at the moment was making him feel even more tense and worried. There was no way that he was going to achieve the decompression he sought today, no matter what he did. That fact was becoming obvious enough.

With a sigh, Will turned to head back to the house, his footsteps show and heavy. He felt as though he was having a hard time putting one foot in front of the other.

Was something wrong with him other than just being tense about those disturbing dreams that felt more like visions? he asked himself. Was there something going on in his mind that even he didn't know about, something that could be the precursor of an illness?

He pushed that thought aside, too, not wanting to entertain it. He didn't need even more problems to worry and puzzle over. He was stressed enough already.

And he was rapidly running out of ways to decompress.