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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #220, Dog
Author's Note: Sequel to "Crutch."
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 sighed as he turned from the freeway onto the road that led into Vienna, and from there to Wolf Trap. He was on his way home after a session with Hannibal, and the last words that the other man had said still lingered in his mind.
"Will, maybe you only adopt so many stray dogs as a sublimation for a relationship in your life."
That was ridiculous, he scoffed as he drove, frowning without realizing that he was doing so. He didn't even want a relationship. He was fine just the way he was.
Why would he want a relationship to screw up his life? From what he could see, all they did was caus a lot of stress and strain that he didn't want to deal with .He had enough of that just from his job, from doing too much field work when he really didn't want to.
But the hell of it was that if he didn't work in the field, lives would be lost. And if he could save lives, then he felt obligated to continue.
So he was teaching less, and in the field more. That was one reason he appreciated all of his dogs when he got home, Will told himself, smiling at the thought. They gave him companionship and unconditional love at the end of a long, hard day.
He liked coming home to his dogs. He very much doubted if he would like coming home to a person who would nag him and bother him nearly as much.
But then, if he loved them, it wouldn't seem like nagging, would it?
That was beside the point. He didn't have anyone in his life to love, and he didn't need anyone. He was happy the way he was.
He had his dogs, he had his home, he had his work, and he had a few friends. That was all it took to make him happy, he told himself firmly. He didn't need a relationship. He didn't want a relationship. That would only complicate his life and make trouble.
He had enough problems to deal with from all the things he saw on a daily basis when he was working in the field. He didn't need more.
Will sighed again, Hannibal's words echoing in his mind.
So what if he adopted dogs because he wanted company? He lived out in the middle of nowhere. Of course it was nice to have pets around.
And the dogs kept him safe. True, a couple of them were small dogs and wouldn't be much in the way of protection, but Winston, as well as Oliver the husky, were large dogs. Will was sure that if he had to face any kind of threat, those dogs would be right there beside him.
He wasn't the only person who chose to have a dog -- or, in his case, several dogs -- for companionship. A lot of people liked dogs. It wasn't strange.
Using his dogs as a sublimation for a relationship that he didn't want was a ridiculous idea. There was no attraction, for god's sake.
Of course, he knew that wasn't what Hannibal meant. What his psychiatrist had been referring to was that he seemed to substitute the unconditional love of his pets for the love of a partner, a love that he didn't feel he was entitled to.
How had Hannibal realized that? How had the infuriating man been able to look within him and see that he was lonely, yet didn't feel that he was worthy of a relationship?
Hannibal seemed to know him better than anyone ever had.
It was more than a little scary to realize that Hannibal had such insight into hm, insight that he had never thought anyone would even want to possess.
He'd never thought of himself as a particularly interesting person, but for some reason, Hannibal seemed to think he was. After this last session, he'd been invited to dinner at Hannibal's home tomorrow night, and he had already accepted the invitation.
Will wasn't sure if that was a mistake or not, given the fact that he seemed to have an attraction to the older man that was growing by leaps and bounds.
It was terrifying to feel that kind of attraction.
It didn't bother him that Hannibal was a man. He'd long ago accepted that he was more attracted to men than women; he was comfortable with those feelings.
But being attracted to his psychiatrist? That was unethical, wasn't it? Well, maybe not on his part, but it certainly would be on Hannibal's if he was also attracted, and if he acted on those feelings. Somehow, Will had the feeling that he would.
But Hannibal couldn't be attracted to him; he'd never shown any indication of it. No, the attraction had to be all on Will's side.
As he turned onto the road that led to his house, Will's lips twisted in a wry smile. Maybe Hannibal was right, and he only had so many dogs because he was trying to make up for the lack of a relationship in his life. But he didn't think he was the only person who did so.
The unconditional love of his dogs was enough for him. He didn't need a relationship. He didn't need anyone in his life. He was just fine on his own.
Unless the person in his life was Hannibal Lecter.
Will stopped the car in front of his house, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. He couldn't have a relationship with Hannibal, no matter how much he might want one. He had his work, his home, and his dogs. That would have to be enough.
He couldn't have more. He couldn't wish for more. If he did, then he was a fool, because he wasn't going to get what he wanted. it simply wasn't in the cards.
Sighing, he got out of the car, then bounded up the front porch steps and unlocked the door, smiling as the dogs came to greet him.
Yes, this was enough for him. He was satisfied. He had to be.
Because there was no way he could ever have what he truly wanted.
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