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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Seven Heavenly Virtues Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: Faith - Belief in the right things.
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.
***He wanted to believe in the goodness of people. He really did.
Will sighed softly, closing his eyes and passing a hand across his forehead .After dealing with Hannibal, it was almost impossible to embrace such a belief.
Could anyone manage to hold on to their faith when they were confronted with that kind of evil? Will asked himself. He didn't think so. But he was trying his best, even though seeing the horrific acts that Hannibal had committed was enough to shake his own faith to the core.
How could it not? Seeing all of those bodies, the horrible mutilations, and then coming to realize just what it was that Hannibal had done with the missing parts ....
Will shuddered, pushing that thought away from his mind. At the moment, it was hard enough to think of the fact that Hannibal was the Chesapeake Ripper, the killer he'd spent so much time searching for, and that he had taken so long to discover that fact.
It wasn't until he'd had all of that time in jail, all of those hours to think about the events that had occurred, that he'd realized what he should have seen all along.
Hannibal was evil. A monster. He was barely human.
Will didn't think he was human. Hannibal merely wore a human mask, one that he could take off at any time. His humanity was only a thin surface veneer.
Humanity? Will couldn't hold back a snort at that thought. There was no one he'd ever met who was less human. Knowing someone like Hannibal, realizing what he was capable of, was enough to make anyone lose their faith in humanity.
But he wasn't going to let that happen, he told himself firmly. He was going to hold on to his faith, no matter how hard it might be to do so.
Hannibal wouldn't take that away from him.
He'd taken so much else of what Will had treasured. Hannibal had taken his friends, people he'd been close to, people he'd cared for. He'd even taken Will's freedom, for a short while.
And in the end, in their last confrontation, Hannibal had tried to take his life. Will could still feel the pain of that curved blade sinking into his stomach; he wondered if he would always feel it, every time he thought of Hannibal and those last few desperate moments between them.
It had been so hard to believe what he'd seen -- that Abigail was still alive, and that Hannibal had so cruelly and callously taken her life.
Seeing that would have been enough to destroy anyone's faith in humanity. But he had to keep reminding himself that Hannibal couldn't be seen as human.
That mask of humanity had been ripped away during those last few seconds, when he had stared into Will's eyes and accused him of being the evil one, the person who had betrayed them both. Will knew that wasn't true, but those words still haunted him.
Why had he called Hannibal and let him know that the authorities were on their way? Had some part of him actually wanted that monster to escape?
He didn't want to believe that. He couldn't let himself believe it.
That, more than anything else, shook his faith in himself. The fact that somehow, deep inside him, he might have given Hannibal enough time to find a way out.
He should never have made that call, but it was too late now to look back and analyze what he had done wrong. It all seemed blurred together now; it was an amalgam of sights and sounds and sensations that he had a hard time separating from each other.
Somehow, he had managed to hold on to his faith in humanity through all of that, and through the weeks of convalescence that had followed.
He'd keep holding on, for as long as he had to. Hannibal wouldn't destroy that faith.
He wouldn't let that monster win this battle, Will vowed. Hannibal might think that he'd made inroads into Will's psyche, but he hadn't taken it over.
He would shake off that dark influence, and he'd find Hannibal, wherever he was, and make sure that monster spent the rest of his life behind bars. Death was too good for him. He deserved to suffer, as he had made Will suffer through an incarceration.
The human race was made up of good people, Will told himself. It was just that everyone had a dark side -- and that darkness was easy to succumb to.
He hadn't let himself do it, even though Hannibal had encouraged him as much as possible -- and he'd been afraid that there were times when he was nearing the breaking point. But he had kept thinking of all the good things in his life, the good people he had known.
That faith was what had saved him from giving in to the darkness that had beckoned so seductively. And it was what would sustain him in the hunt to come.
In the end, his faith would triumph by pushing the darkness away.
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