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Title: Eliminate the Threat
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #517, Threat
Author's Note: Sequel to "Better Than Today."
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 sighed as he carefully pulled the covers back and got out of bed, looking down at the young man sleeping beside him. Will's breathing was slow and even; it was obvious that he wasn't going to wake up, though he seemed to be a light sleeper.

He didn't want Will to wake up. Not now. He had some thinking to do, and that would be best done alone, in the privacy of the living room downstairs.

He reached for his robe, shrugging into it and leaving the bedroom.

Will's house was rather nice, if a little rustic, he told himself as he made his way down the stairs. It wasn't the luxurious abode that his own home was, but it suited the younger man. And Hannibal had to admit that he rather liked it, as well.

He went into the kitchen quietly, deciding to make himself a cup of tea while he sat on the couch and let his thoughts roam. The dogs didn't stir as he passed their baskets and blankets in the living room; they were all used to him by now.

He'd been bothered by one thought that refused to leave his mind ever since they'd come here; it was time to think the problem through and come to some conclusions.

Will obviously had no clue as to what was really going on with those murders he'd been investigating. But he was becoming more and more frustrated by them.

Therein lay the problem, Hannibal thought with a sigh as he put water into the kettle to brew his tea. Will was frustrated and angry, but he couldn't be told that there would be no way for him to solve this case. His frustration would have to remain.

Hannibal hated to see him like this, but there was no way that Will could be allowed to discover who the real killer was. In spite of Will's love for him, he knew that his young lover would insist on justice -- and that he would end up being behind bars.

He couldn't allow that. It was no way for him to live.

He didn't belong behind bars any more than Will did. He wasn't going to submit to that sort of life; it wasn't what he wanted, or what Will would want for him.

Therefore, Will couldn't be allowed to find out about what he had done. If he had to, he would manage to pin the killings on someone else -- but that meant that, when the other person was found and convicted of the crimes, he would have to stop.

Therein lay the biggest problem. He didn't want to stop. Really, he couldn't stop. He had to keep on with the killings, for Will's sake.

There was no way for him to stop.

Those men were a threat to Will, to his uniqueness, to his individuality. How dare anyone look like his beautiful lover, or even resemble him? Those men had no right to have any kind of resemblance to Will. They had to be eliminated.

Hannibal knew that many would say he was insane. He wasn't. He knew that for a fact. He was cold and calculating, some might even say heartless. But never insane.

Cruel? Yes, possibly. It might be looked at as being cruel to send so many young men to their deaths. But he didn't see it in that light.

He wasn't being cruel. He was merely protecting the man he loved, making sure that there was no one who could compete with Will, who could infringe upon his individuality. He was leaving the path clear for Will to make his mark on the world.

He was doing this for love, pure and simple.

It was something that had to be done, and he wasn't going to stop until he absolutely had to. He was going to eliminate anything that he saw as a threat to Will.

Those men were a threat, in his eyes. Of course, most people wouldn't see things in the way he did, but that didn't matter. He was protecting Will, protecting his lover's uniqueness in this world, and he would continue to do so.

That wouldn't be so easy now, though. He would have to find someone to take the fall for those murders, and then make it look as though there was a copycat.

Either that, or an accomplice. Either one would work.

It wouldn't be hard to do that at all, Hannibal mused. Finding someone to take the fall would be harder than convincing the inept Jack Crawford that there was a copycat killer on the loose, or that the original killer had an accomplice who had taken over his agenda.

That agenda would never be discovered. Of course, the man who would be in prison -- more than likely on death row -- for the killings wouldn't know what the reason behind the murders was, and Hannibal certainly wasn't going to tell.

These really would be the perfect crimes, he told himself with a smile. The only problem would be keeping Will far enough away from them so that he wouldn't figure it out.

Of course he wouldn't. Will could spin his wheels from now until doomsday, and he would never know that it was his own lover who had orchestrated all of this.

Hannibal didn't like the idea of Will becoming more and more frustrated; he didn't like the way these killings had affected his lover mentally and emotionally. But Will would get over it. Eventually, he would stop feeling that the killer was coming for him.

In time, he would stop looking over his shoulder, and his fears would ease. Hannibal wished that he could tell Will that the killer would never be after him, that the killings were, in effect, to save him. But there was no way that he could impart that information.

Not without telling Will everything, and that was something he couldn't do.

The kettle distracted him; it emitted a low whistle, not enough to awaken Will upstairs, but enough to draw his attention to the fact that the water was boiling.

He quickly made a cup of tea, deciding to sip it while reading a book. He hadn't really decided the matter of just what to do about what he perceived as a threat to Will, but he had started the thought process. He didn't think it would take him long to come up with a workable solution.