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Title: The Agony of Defeat
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Personal Challenge, 1drabble
Prompt: 23, Defeat
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 stumbled out of his car and up the front steps of his house, still feeling lost and disoriented. He couldn't get the words that Hannibal had said to him out of his mind; he still couldn't quite process them. They didn't seem real; they couldn't apply to him.

Nothing felt real. The world seemed very far away.

He had encephalitis. He could die. Hannibal didn't know how to help him. Hannibal wanted to help him, but he didn't know what the best course of action was.

Hannibal had seemed sympathetic, but he also hadn't really seemed to know how to reach out to Will. And there had been something in Will that had held him back from reaching out to Hannibal in the way that'd wanted to; some sixth sense had made him check that impulse.

Hannibal didn't really want him to reach out. He knew that instinctively, without being told. Hannibal wasn't the kind of man who had an easy time with affection; he wasn't comfortable with the concept of love even at their most intimate moments.

So of course he wouldn't be comfortable with it in this case.

Unlocking the front door, Will went inside, closing the door and sitting down on the couch. He didn't switch on the lamp, even though the darkness of evening was gathering. He felt as though he was walking through syrup, rooted to the spot, unable to move without great effort.

How was this going to end? Was Hannibal really going to try to find a way to help him, or was he alone in this? He had never felt so alone before; there was no one he wanted to talk about this with, no one he wanted to call and pour his heart out to.

He was facing the agony of defeat before the fight had really begun. Deep within, he was sure that this would kill him, that there was no reason to fight. Why struggle against an outcome that was probably inevitable? It would be better to simply accept his fate.

He'd never felt so small, so helpless, so .... defeated.

What was he expecting, anyway? Words of support and love from the man who was his lover? He should know better than that; Hannibal had never said that he loved him, not even when they were having sex. He wasn't going to say it now. It wasn't in him.

But those were the only words that could stave off the agony of defeat, the sense of being overwhelmed. Will needed those words, more than he'd ever needed anything.

They wouldn't be forthcoming -- not now when he needed them most, or at any time in the future. If he even had a future, he told himself, staring down at the hands clasped loosely in his lap. But that didn't stop him from wanting to hear them.

He would give anything to hear those words. Anything.