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Title: Double Exposure
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Big Bang Inspirations, tv_universe
Prompt: Double Exposure
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 stared down at the picture in front of him, his lips curving into a slight smile. He hadn't expected a mere photograph to so capture the essence of the man in the picture, but somehow, it had -- to an almost frightening degree. It was simply uncanny.
The photo was of Will, a picture that Hannibal had taken himself, with an old-fashioned Polaroid camera. He'd thought that it would simply be a photo that he could keep and enjoy, but it had somehow managed to capture his innermost thoughts about Will.
It was too bad that he'd never been able to get this sort of picture of Will when he was naked; that would show even more clearly the side of him that Hannibal liked most.
Both sides of the the same coin, both captured in one moment of startling clarity.
When the picture had developed, he'd been more than a little surprised to find that it was a double exposure -- capturing two of Will's most arresting expressions.
One moment, Will had been smiling -- the next, there was a frown on his face, and he had started to hold up his hand as though to ward off the inevitable flash of the camera in his face. He didn't like being photographed; Hannibal already knew that.
Yet he had wanted a picture of Will, one that he could take out and peruse whenever the young man wasn't around. He enjoyed looking at objects of beauty -- and Will was definitely that. He was sure that he'd never beheld a more beautiful creature in all his days.
The camera had caught Will at that moment between a smile and a scowl -- and somehow, both of those expressions had been captured in one fleeting moment, one flash of light.
Both sides of Will Graham -- the light, and the dark.
Will was two people in one body -- Hannibal had thought that ever since he'd first met the young man. He had set out to bring that darker side to the surface, though now, he couldn't help feeling that the opposite side of Will's personality was the one he preferred.
He enjoyed Will's vulnerability, his fragility. He enjoyed toying with that vulnerability, just as a cat enjoyed playing with a mouse before the swipe of a paw that would extinguish a life. He felt just as powerful as that cat, manipulating Will's life to his own satisfaction.
It certainly wasn't the most ethical thing to do -- but then, he'd never been very concerned with ethics. If he was, then he wouldn't also have taken Will as a lover, and introduced him to all of the things they'd done with each other thus far.
He didn't regret anything that he'd done with Will -- and he wouldn't regret anything he did in the future. The only regret that might push its way to the surface would come after he'd done away with Will, when the young man was no longer a part of this world.
It would have to happen, Hannibal thought with a sigh. Will's death was inevitable.
There was no way that they could continue on as they were now indefinitely. Sooner or later, Will would become more curious about him, and he would start to unravel the layers of mystery that Hannibal kept pulled so tightly around himself.
There would come a day when the scales would fall from Will's eyes, when he would no longer be blinded by their desire for each other, and he would see his lover clearly.
That would be the day when Will Graham would have to be dispatched from this world. Because no matter how much he enjoyed having the young man by his side -- and in his bed -- Hannibal couldn't take the risk of Will exposing who he really was to the world.
He would certainly miss having Will in his life when that day came; he would grieve for his lover, and he would mourn for all that could have been. But he would also be practical. After all, he had always known that the day would come when Will would know too much.
Until then, he would continue to enjoy Will physically -- and continue manipulating him.
Really, Will was an exquisite puppet, Hannibal mused, picking up the photograph and studying it. The double exposure of the picture put both sides of Will neatly in one place, putting them into balance. It would be very interesting to see how long it would take to unbalance them.
A small smile began to grow as he considered the possibilities. Will was edging closer and closer to the edge of his sanity; how much more closely could he be pushed towards that edge without toppling off and becoming swallowed up by his dark side?
There was so much more that he could do with Will, so many things that he had planned for the young man's future. He knew exactly where Will would end up, but it would be a fascinating experiment so push him to that edge and bring him back time and time again.
Of course, it was a foregone conclusion that once that experiment had been achieved to his satisfaction, Will's days would be numbered.
But that time was still far into the future. There was so much to do before then.
He would enjoy conducting that experiment, seeing just how far he could go. This double exposure would be his guide; it would show him just how far he could push before he had to pull Will back from that edge, before shoving him over and watching him fall.
Was that terribly cold-blooded of him? Hannibal tilted his head to the side, studying the picture again. If it was, he didn't really care.
Hannibal always got what he wanted, no matter what he had to do to achieve that desire. His lips curved into a smile at the thought. He excelled at this sort of manipulation, at pushing boundaries to just the right degree. Will Graham would never know what had hit him.
By the time he did, it would be far too late.
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