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Title: Elusive Answers
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Stumbling in the Dark."
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 watched Hannibal as the other man crossed and recrossed his legs, wondering why he looked as though he had something to say but was reluctant to say it.
He didn't like it when Hannibal was like this; it made him feel as though something he needed to know was being kept from him, that he was out of the loop.
The silence stretched out uncomfortably, just like his nerves.
Finally, Will could bear it no longer. "Tell me the truth, Hannibal," he muttered, his gaze still not meeting the other man's. "I don't like feeling like you're keeping something from me."
Hannibal shook his head slowly, frowning as he did so. "I'm not keeping anything from you that you need to know, Will," he said, his voice quiet and even. "I wouldn't do that."
"Yes, you would," Will told him, a wry smile curving his lips briefly before it disappeared again. "You've probably kept a lot from me. But I need to know, Hannibal. The headaches are getting worse. I feel like my head is on fire when they come on me. I need to know what's wrong with me."
"Will, I can't tell you what is wrong, because I don't know myself," Hannibal protested. "Believe me, if I did know, I certainly wouldn't keep such information from you."
Will considered his words, wondering if Hannibal was telling the truth. He really didn't have any way of knowing, after all. He wasn't good at filtering out lies from truth, unless he was working.
And with Hannibal, it was impossible to divine his thoughts.
Why was he even trying to guess what Hannibal might be thinking? He knew that there was no way he was going to find a route into this man's mind.
If Hannibal didn't want to reveal his thoughts, then there was no use trying to guess them. Will already knew that this man could be the most enigmatic person he'd ever met; Hannibal was good at dissembling, at hiding anything that he didn't want anyone else to know.
It was too frustrating to play a game of twenty questions, when he only knew that Hannibal would sidestep anything he might ask. He would always deflect one question with another.
"If you're ever going to tell me anything when you finally know it," he said quietly, "I'd like the truth. You don't have to candy-coat anything for me, Hannibal."
"I wouldn't do that, Will," Hannibal told him gravely. "If I knew anything about your condition, then I would tell you, and I would try to be as honest as I could. But I know nothing, Will. I'm as mystified as you are. The truth is not in us, at least, the knowledge is not in our minds. Not yet."
Will knew that he would have to be satisfied with that, though the words somehow didn't seem quite right. He was sure that Hannibal was hiding something from him.
He was sure that he could see secrets hidden in those dark eyes.
But whatever those secrets were, he was forbidden entry to them. He knew that Hannibal wouldn't reveal anything that he might know, not until he was ready to do so.
He would have to be patient and wait for Hannibal to tell him anything -- or, if Hannibal was telling the truth, he would have to accept the fact that Hannibal knew no more than he himself did.
"Do you really believe that, Hannibal? That the truth isn't somewhere within us, just waiting to come out so we can acknowledge it?" he asked, keeping his tone neutral. "I do. Whatever's wrong with me -- and I believe that something is wrong -- the answer is hidden there somewhere."
Hannibal looked thoughtful for a few moments, then he nodded. "Perhaps you're right, Will. If that is the case, then we simply have to wait for the truth to reveal itself to us."
And that was all the answer he was getting. Will knew that Hannibal wouldn't say more than that, no matter what the other man might think; he would stay closemouthed on the subject.
He would just have to wait and see if any answers did indeed present themselves.
But he knew that those answers would be elusive. Will didn't expect to find them easily, and he didn't expect them to just show up out of nowhere.
No, he would have to keep searching for them, he told himself, sitting back in his chair with a sigh. But somehow, he had the definite feeling that he wouldn't like what he might eventually find.
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