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Title: The Edge of Eternity
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Intricate Dance."
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.
***This was the second postcard in two weeks.
Will looked down at the card in his hands, wishing that he could simply throw it away. He didn't want to look at it, didn't want to read the words written on the other side.
This one had a picture of snow-capped mountain peaks; Hannibal was in Switzerland now, and Will had to wonder if Bedelia was still with him. Bedelia, who had said that she believed him when he was in jail and accusing Hannibal of putting him there; Bedelia, who had seemed like a friend, but who was really working for Hannibal.
She had to be, didn't she? If she wasn't, then she wouldn't be with him now, running around the world trying to stay a few steps ahead of the police, who were always after them.
So far, it seemed that it had been far too easy for the two of them to cover their tracks. Will wanted to be part of the team that was chasing them, but Jack had forbidden that; he said that Will was too close to the case, that he wouldn't be able to keep himself focused on objectivity if he happened to catch the fugitive pair.
Jack was probably right, Will admitted to himself. He wanted to catch Hannibal so badly that he knew he wouldn't be able to hold back his anger if he confronted his nemesis.
He just hated being forced to sit back and wait.
But that was really all he could do at this point, he told himself with a soft sigh. Jack was also right when he pointed out the fact that Will hadn't recovered physically enough to be out on this hunt.
He hated admitting that Jack was right, hated admitting that he was best served by being here and waiting to see if Hannibal would show up in Wolf Trap, or contact him by phone.
So far, there had been only that one letter, and then these postcards. Will couldn't help wondering if he would receive one every week; this was only the second one, but they'd come exactly a week apart, so it seemed that Hannibal was trying to time the delivery for some specific reason. Will wondered what it could be.
He had already read the few lines on the back of the card over and over; he would see those black lines written in that precise, elegant script even in his sleep.
"You have sent me to the edge of eternity, Will. I had wanted you to be my companion in this, but my plans were forced to make a swift change. I wish that hadn't been the case."
Was it his imagination, or did it sound as though Hannibal actually regretted what he had done? No, Will told himself firmly, shaking his head. Hannibal couldn't have planned for the two of them to run away together, like fugitive lovers. He hadn't been fooled by Will's attempted deception, not at all.
If he had been, then he wouldn't have gutted Will and left him there to die. It would have always come to that, no matter what the scenario was that they played out. Hannibal had always meant for him to die.
He didn't believe that Hannibal was his friend now any more than he'd believed it when that monster had come to visit him in prison and had insisted that they were friends. He never would.
Friends didn't try to kill each other. Hannibal was no friend of his.
Hannibal had sent him to the edge of eternity, too, but luckily, he had managed to crawl back from that deep, dark pit that the other man had tried to push him into.
He had no guilt about Hannibal being on the run; he hadn't forced that to happen, after all. Hannibal himself had done that, with all of his conscienceless killings. If he was a decent human being, he wouldn't be forced to hide from the authorities, evading capture to preserve his freedom and, possibly, even his life.
Will hadn't caused that to happen. He had no reason to feel guilty, or even regretful. Everything he'd done had been necessary to catch a killer and put him behind bars.
Of course Hannibal, being that killer, wouldn't see things in that light. He would only see that he couldn't keep killing with impunity, and he would be angry that his chosen mode of living had been denied him. Well, that hadn't happened yet; Will was sure that Hannibal would kill again until he was caught. But they would catch him.
Justice was catching up to Hannibal, closing in on him. Soon, the edge of eternity would loom before him, and he would have to choose whether to surrender -- or to jump into that yawning abyss.
Will hoped that he would surrender, but a part of him wanted to see the monster jump -- and disappear forever.
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