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Title: Far Too Convenient
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Red Herring."
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's not the one." Will's voice was flat and expressionless.
How could anyone think that this man was capable of committing murder? he asked himself, almost feeling disgusted by the obvious mistake. This person wasn't a killer.
There was nothing in the man's mind, or in his demeanor, that would have led Will to think he was the killer. Just because some "evidence" pointed towards him, that didn't mean that he was the man who had committed all of those atrocious crimes.
It would be easy enough for the actual killer to plant that evidence; in fact, Will was positive that was exactly what had been done. This man was no murderer.
No, this was a studied attempt to throw the authorities off the trail of the actual killer by presenting them with a sitting duck, a scapegoat who was meant to take the blame. Why couldn't the FBI see that, and look past evidence that, to Will's eyes, had obviously been planted?
The easy answer was that they wanted to solve this case and put it away, not have to deal with it any more, and they were being given an easy way out.
Will couldn't believe that the man he saw had killed anyone.
For one thing, the guy looked -- and felt -- completely confused. Surely if this man was the killer they'd been searching for, he would get some kind of guilty vibe from him.
But no matter how much he tried to open himself to his own feelings, to let his empathy take over, he felt .... nothing. Nothing but confusion, fear, and a growing panic. No guilt, no satisfaction. There was nothing about this man that would ever convince Will he was a killer.
They had the wrong man, but the FBI was convinced that the flimsy "evidence" they'd found was enough to put him away for murder, behind bars for the rest of his life.
Will knew that if such a thing happened, it would be a terrible miscarriage of justice. He couldn't go along with it -- not when he knew in his heart that the real killer would still be out there, murdering more men who looked like him, and then eventually tiring of substitutes and coming for him.
But how was he going to make the FBI believe that to be true? They were too happy with the idea that the case was solved, and that they could pat themselves on the back for it.
Will sighed, closing his eyes, feeling frustrated and helpless.
He wasn't ready to convict this man on the flimsy, circumstantial so-called "evidence" they'd found. It felt as though it had too obviously been planted, that this guy had been set up.
Why couldn't anyone else see that? Usually, Jack could look through something like this and immediately see that it wasn't as it should be, but it looked like he was too relieved to have this case come to a quick end to want to look any further, or to even try to see the holes in the evidence.
So he couldn't go to Jack. Hannibal? No, he wasn't even actually involved in the case. He hadn't been called in on it; Will had only talked to him about it in his psychiatric sessions.
Besides, Hannibal would probably just tell him the same thing Jack would -- that he should be grateful to know that he wouldn't be hunted, that the man responsible for his fears had been caught.
Or would he? Will frowned as he contemplated whether or not he should confide how he felt to Hannibal, not as his psychiatrist, but as his lover. It was odd to have someone in his life who played both of those roles. He'd always thought that it was a bad idea to mix the personal and the professional.
Still, he'd done it, and he had no regrets. But could he go to his lover with his worries? For some reason, he didn't think so. Something told him that he should keep what he was thinking to himself.
Would he be able to do that, though? Hannibal could always sense when he was troubled.
"What do you mean?" Jack asked, yanking Will from his thoughts and back into the present. "Will, we have enough evidence to put this guy away for two lifetimes."
"It's not him," Will said softly, shaking his head. "I can't give you a concrete reason why, Jack, but I just know it. I'm not feeling anything from him that says he's guilty. All I get is a sense of confusion and fear. There's nothing in his mind or his emotions that points to him being the killer."
"So you think he was set up," Jack said, his tone thoughtful. "You know, the evidence does seem like it turned up all of a sudden, when we most needed to find it. Very convenient. Far too convenient."
"Exactly," Will said with a nod. "Whoever the killer really is, he's found a convenient scapegoat to throw us off the track. The FBI is believing exactly what the real killer wants them to believe. And after all this had died down, he'll go back to murdering -- and he'll eventually come after me."
Jack nodded, his face grim. "I think you're right. This doesn't feel right. It's too clean, too easy. Too conveniently timed. But we need to make the killer think we believe that we have the right man."
Will sighed softly, his gaze focused on Jack. "So you think we should keep this guy in custody."
Jack cleared his throat, then nodded again, keeping his voice low. "Just so the real killer will let his guard down and think that we believe his ruse worked. But we'll keep looking for him."
It was Will's turn to nod; he glanced around to make sure that no one had heard the two of them. Nobody was nearby, so he didn't think they had anyone tuning in to their conversation. "Good idea. Maybe he'll slip up and commit another crime too soon, and then we'll have him."
Even as he said the words, he felt sick. That would mean that another man who resembled him would die; he didn't want that to happen, but he didn't know how to prevent it.
"I don't want another death on my conscience," he whispered, shaking his head. "But I don't think there's any way to stop it, at least not yet. If we get lucky, we might be able to, but it's not like we can round up every guy with brown hair and blue eyes who looks even the slightest bit like me and keep them all safe."
"No, we can't," Jack said with a heavy sigh. "We'll just have to hope that the killer doesn't commit another murder any time soon, and that we can find some way to identify him and catch him before he does."
Will had to agree with Jack's assessment. That was really their only hope at this point.
He wasn't going to talk to Hannibal about any of this, he told himself. There was no reason to bring his lover into this; it was his work, and Hannibal didn't need to be involved.
Even though this crossed over from his professional life into the personal side, for some reason, he still didn't want his lover to know just what was going on. Hannibal might want to get too involved in it, and then he could be placed in the line of fire, as well. Will didn't want that.
He didn't stop to search more deeply for all of the reasons that he didn't want Hannibal to know that the man who'd been arrested wasn't the one. He didn't want to examine those reasons too closely.
If he did, something told him that he wouldn't like the answers to any questions he asked himself.
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