Main Hannibal Fan Fiction page | new stories page | Will/Hannibal slash page | other pairings page | gen stories page

Title: Etude
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
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.


There had been difficult times in their relationship.

He'd be lying to himself if he didn't admit that. He and Hannibal were both strong-willed people, and neither of them would back down without a fight.

But wasn't it always difficult to make a relationship work sometimes? It wasn't as though they'd had problems that other couples didn't experience.

And somehow, they had always managed to work things out -- even though, looking back, Will had to admit that he had usually been the one to give in to whatever it was that Hannibal wanted. He hadn't wanted to enrage his lover, or run the risk of Hannibal turning his back on him.

That had been the crux of their relationship, really -- the fact that Will didn't want to be alone again, that deep down, he was afraid of losing Hannibal.

Hannibal had known that, and he'd used it to his advantage, Will thought bitterly. He had played on Will's fears of being alone again as skillfully as a violinist used his bow.

If he was honest with himself, he'd known that Hannibal was using him.

He had simply turned a blind eye to that fact, and told himself that he was grateful to have someone in his life who could understand him the way that Hannibal did.

He'd told himself that he was lucky, that if he didn't have Hannibal, he'd be alone again -- and that he would be even lonelier and more miserable than ever, because he'd known what it was like to have someone in his life and then had been stupid enough to drive them away.

Funny how he blamed himself in those mental scenarios, Will told himself, taking a deep breath. He never put any kind of blame on Hannibal. He always turned it inward.

He was sure that Hannibal blamed him for their difficulties, too.

He had always given Will such a sad look when they argued, as though he was the long-suffering victim, and Will was just being moody and throwing a temper tantrum.

Even when they had first become involved, Hannibal had known how to twist him around that elegant little finger, Will thought, anger beginning to surge within him. He was starting to wonder if Hannibal had ever loved him, or if he had just been a plaything, nothing more than a temporary amusement.

No, he couldn't believe that Hannibal had been that callous about him. He was sure that, in a strange way, Hannibal had loved him.

But the kind of love that Hannibal felt wasn't real love, he reminded himself. Hannibal was a serial killer. There was no way he could be capable of actual love.

Hannibal could never be selfless; everything he did would always benefit him first and foremost. He should know that by now, Will admonished himself. He couldn't let himself sink into a miasma of "what might have been," or he might never be able to crawl out of the pit of despair he would dig for himself.

He couldn't look back on his relationship with Hannibal with regrets. He had to remind himself to be glad that he had escaped with his life.

But, try as he might, he couldn't simply erase all that they had shared.

He wanted to do that. He wanted to forget everything, especially all the difficulties they'd had. That had been the etude of their relationship, the part that had been the hardest.

He'd kept asking questions that Hannibal hadn't wanted to answer, kept pushing to know more about his lover's past. He hadn't known just what horrible, dark secrets Hannibal was hiding; he'd only thought that his boyfriend hadn't wanted to answer his questions because the memories were too painful.

He had found out for himself just what Hannibal was hiding -- and he'd wished that he hadn't. He wanted to take it all back, for them to be able to start over again.

Of course, that could never happen. The damage was already done.

He couldn't turn back the clock, as much as he might want to do so. He couldn't simply erase what he knew and go back to the days when he had been happy with Hannibal.

He couldn't unlearn all that he'd found out about his lover. And even if he could, he had a feeling that the knowledge would always be there, hovering just out of sight.

It was better this way; he'd made a clean break with the past, turned his back on it all and slammed the door. He hadn't even been to see Hannibal since he'd been incarcerated and sentenced to life in prison; he knew that it would hurt too much if he saw his lover behind bars.

This was the only way that he could cope with all that had happened, with the loss that he had endured. He had to keep moving ahead, to leave their relationship in the past.

But still, no matter how difficult it had been at times, he wanted the past back. He wanted to go back to the days when he had been innocent in so many ways, when he had believed in Hannibal.

The days when he had still believed that love was all that mattered.

As difficult as the days of the etude of their relationship had been at times, Will knew that he would sell his soul if he could recapture them and go back in time.

That was impossible, and he knew it. He had done what he had to do, and he had to live with the consequences of the decision he'd made. He had to move forward, put one foot in front of the other each and every day, and let those slow movements take him further and further away from the past.

Further away from Hannibal, further away from all that they'd shared and never would again. Further away from the days of his innocence, the days when he'd felt that he belonged.

Further away from ever opening his heart to anyone again.