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Title: Enemy At the Gates
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #515, Enemy
Author's Note: One-shot.
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 gazed out of the window into the garden at the back of Hannibal's house, watching the rain beat down on the greenery and streak down the windowpane. His thoughts were far away; he could have been looking at a brick wall, and he wouldn't have noticed.
He'd been thinking about his relationship with Hannibal quite a lot lately, and wondering if it had been the right thing to become involved with a colleague.
He had always tried to avoid that before he'd met Hannibal. He had seen how being involved with someone at work had affected some of his colleagues in the past, and he didn't want that to happen to him. It just seemed like a horrible situation all around.
The aftermath of a messy breakup wasn't something he wanted to deal with.
Not that he thought they would break up any time soon, Will assured himself hastily. He was sure that he and Hannibal had a relationship that was going to last; so far, it had been good, even if he did sometimes have the feeling that it was .... well, in a word, dangerous.
There were times when Hannibal seemed more like a predator than a lover, when Will felt that he was putting his life at risk by being involved with him.
He didn't want to see his lover as the enemy, but sometimes he couldn't help thinking of Hannibal in that way. There were times when it seemed that they were on opposite sides of the fence, where Will couldn't reach out and close the distance between them.
The enemy? Will's mouth twisted in a parody of a smile. Hannibal wasn't the enemy, but sometimes there was such a gap between them that Will didn't think they would ever truly understand each other. He hated feeling that way; he didn't want them to be separated.
But all too often, he and Hannibal were on opposite sides of an issue.
Will didn't want that; he wanted the two of them to be united, together, a couple. But it seemed that wasn't their destiny; they were lovers, yes, but in a detached way. They shared their bodies, but they were cut off from each other in too many other ways.
He hated it when he and Hannibal disagreed; it always made him feel that he was back on the outside looking in, as he'd always been when he was younger, when he had wanted to be in a relationship but didn't know how to approach anyone to make it begin.
He wanted their relationship to be harmonious, but he supposed that nothing was easy with a man like Hannibal. He should simply be glad that they were together.
Thinking of Hannibal as the enemy in any way, even when they vehemently disagreed about something, was only going to harm their relationship, and he didn't want that. Still, it was so hard to back down about something he believed in.
He couldn't believe that it was right for him to stop working for Jack Crawford.
It had been a bone of contention between the two of them ever since their physical relationship had begun, a few weeks ago. Hannibal had wanted him to stop working for Jack, or at least cut back on the field work he did. He said that it was harming Will more than it was helping.
Will couldn't help but disagree with him. If he stopped helping Jack with his cases, there would be no one else who could do what he did. It didn't matter that doing the job was wearing him down; he could always catch up on his sleep.
He sighed and leaned his forehead against the cold windowpanes, closing his eyes. Even he knew that wasn't true. He wouldn't rest; he would only keep working.
He'd never slept well, even before he had begun working for Jack. Insomnia had been a problem for him ever since he was a child, and now, it was even worse. But if he didn't do what he did, then there would be so many people who never found justice.
It might not matter to dead people if they'd gotten justice. But it mattered to him.
He didn't want to stop working for Jack. If he did, then he would lose a part of himself, a part that in some ways, he relied on. It didn't seem to matter that his empathy was something that set him apart from others; it was also something that defined who he was.
That part of him was something that he'd lived with all of his life; if he lost that, then he wouldn't really know who he was any more.
Hannibal had told him that he needed to stop relying on that empathy to define him, that he had to find other ways of discovering himself. Will couldn't help feeling that he was right, but at the same time, he couldn't let go that easily.
He wasn't sure that he could turn to Hannibal and their relationship as a way to discover more about his own needs and desires; he always felt that their relationship balanced on a tightrope, and that it could end at any time that Hannibal chose for it to.
He couldn't throw away a part of himself and turn to such uncertainty.
That was what made Hannibal the enemy at the gates; the way he could insidiously insist that Will was only hurting himself by holding on to something that was obviously detrimental to his health. He worked himself far too hard; they both knew that.
It was just too easy for Hannibal to slip those kinds of words into their discussions, and for Will to listen to him; even now, he felt that he was in the wrong, even though he struggled to hold on to his reasons for not leaping to attention at Jack's every command.
Will didn't hear Hannibal come up behind him; he jumped when the other man placed a hand on his shoulder, squeezing gently.
"I didn't mean to upset you, Will." Hannibal sounded genuinely contrite, as if he really was sorry that Will had obviously been in such distress after their impromptu psychiatric session just a short while ago. "Please accept my apologies. And come to bed."
He didn't turn around; he simply stood there, still staring out at the rain.
Hannibal moved in more closely behind him, those strong arms sliding around him and pulling him back against the other man's body. Nothing felt as good as being close to Hannibal. Nothing.
Will closed his eyes, sighing softly. He knew that he had already surrendered; there was no need for him to pretend otherwise. He was lost to this man's touch.
Hannibal might prove to be the enemy at the gates in the future; someday, they might have an argument that neither of them could back down from. But for not, the fences were being mended; he would follow Hannibal to his bed, and manage to put their problems aside for another day.
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