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Title: Final Battle
Pairing: Will Graham/Sherlock Holmes
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.
***"You both look surprised to see me."
Hannibal's voice was calm and matter-of-fact as he strode out of the shadows, standing in front of Will and Sherlock in living color, as though he had appeared out of nowhere.
Sherlock cursed himself for not having realized that Hannibal was near them. He was usually more alert than that, but he had been so distracted lately.
His distraction might prove to be their downfall. It was dangerous here; there were cordons to keep people from being too close to the waterfall, but he didn't doubt that if Hannibal rushed him and he was surprised enough to not be on his guard, he could be pushed into the rocks and churning foam.
He didn't doubt that was just what Hannibal had planned for him. His death would leave Hannibal free to do as he wished with Will, which had been his plan all along.
But he wasn't going to allow that to happne, Sherlock told himself firmly. He would protect Will to his last breath, and if he went, then he would take Hannibal Lecter with him.
He wouldn't leave Will vulnerable for this monster to prey on.
"I shouldn't be," he said as calmly as he could, in reply to Hannibal's words. 'I should have known that you would find a way to confront us in a lonely place."
"A rather dangerous place, wouldn't you say?" Hannibal told him with a smirk. "I'm sure that quite a few people have accidentally gone to their deaths at these falls. It would be unfortunate if one more death were to be added to the others -- say, the death of a famous consulting detective."
"That isn't going to happen," Sherlock said quietly. "That death could just as easily be the death of a psychiatrist -- one who, it will be discovered, is also a serial killer."
Hannibal raised a brow, his smirk becoming more pronounced.
"I believe that I'm a bit more careful than that," he said, his tone suave and smooth. "If you believe that I am going to make any mistakes here, you are sadly mistaken, Mr. Holmes."
Hannibal took a step forward, moving closer to the two of them, and though his face bore a bland, innocuous expression, Sherlock could see the evil lurking behind those dark eyes.
Sherlock took a step backwards, instinctively trying to block Will from Hannibal's view. He didn't know why he thought this, but it seemed that if he could keep Will out of Hannibal's line of sight, he would somehow be safe. He knew that was ridiculous, but his brain didn't seem to be working properly.
He didn't want Will to be anywhere this monster. Sherlock knew very well what Hannibal was capable of, and he wasn't going to let Will be harmed in any way.
What if it came down to a physical fight between himself and Hannibal? He was in good shape, but could he manage to defeat such evil purpose?
He had to, he told himself grimly. He might be fighting for not only his own life, but Will's as well. And if he was killed and Hannibal managed to claim Will again, even if he kept Will alive for a while, he had no doubt that the man he loved would eventually meet his demise at Hannibal's hands.
Hannibal was a serial killer. He wasn't capable of any finer emotions; he couldn't love anyone, no matter what he might claim. He had no love for Will, no compassion, no empathy.
The only purpose that Hannibal had was to destroy. He couldn't be allowed to add Will's life to all the others that he had so callously taken.
Sherlock glared at the other man, not bothering to hide his distaste.
How had Hannibal managed to hide his presence, to follow them and yet keep himself so inconspicuous? Sherlock cursed himself again for his inattentiveness.
If he was functioning at his full capacity, then he would have realized that something wasn't right, that they were being followed. He would have somehow been able to sense a malicious presence near them. His senses were always on the alert, but this time, he hadn't paid attention to them.
He could only hope that he hadn't made a fatal mistake, and that this waterfall wouldn't end up being his final resting place, as he was sure Hannibal intended.
If they were lucky, his lack of attention wouldn't cost them their lives.
When Hannibal jumped for him, he was ready. He raised his hands to fend off the other man's attack, knowing that Hannibal would most likely have a knife with him.
The two of them fell to the ground, Hannibal on top of Sherlock. His hands were on Hannibal's shoulders, holding the other man away from him as they struggled.
He saw the gleam of silver as it came down past his face to bury itself in the ground up to the hilt. He was looking up at Hannibal, seeing the ugliness of that skeleton-like visage above him, the eyes cold and unfeeling, the lips twisted with hatred. He was seeing evil in its purest form.
Dimly, Sherlock heard Will cry out, and he knew that his boyfriend had drawn his gun. But could Will get a shot off in the confusion? Did he have a clear line of fire?
He knew that Will wouldn't risk firing and hitting him, not if there was any chance that he could be harmed. Will wasn't going to risk his life, even if they could take Hannibal out with a shot.
No, he would have to finish this himself.
Using all of his strength, he managed to push Hannibal away from him and spring to his feet. He faced the other man as Hannibal got up, his muscles gathering for another assault.
When it came, Sherlock felt himself being propelled back towards the guard rail that kept people from getting too close to the falls. He knew that it was now or never. This was their final battle.
Hannibal would try to push him over that rail to his death. He knew that in his heart, as well as he knew his own name. Hannibal wanted his death; he wanted to walk out of here with Will, leaving Sherlock as only a dim memory in Will's mind as he gave himself over to Hannibal's plans.
He wouldn't let that happen. He had promised Will a new life, a good life, and he wasn't going to let this monster take that life away from the two of them.
With a supreme effort, he twisted his body to the side as Hannibal came for him, letting the momentum of the other man's dash for him propel Hannibal over the rails.
There wasn't a chance for him to reach out and attempt to save his enemy.
Will ran to the railing next to him as they both heard the echo of Hannibal's one cry, abruptly cut off as the sound of the waterfall crashed and reverberated around them.
Sherlock closed his eyes. It was over. Hannibal was gone. If his body was found -- which Sherlock doubted it would be -- then it would probably be far too battered to make an immediate identification. People would simply assume that he had slipped and fallen to his death while he was here alone.
The two of them stood there for a very long time, looking down at what they both hoped was Hannibal's final resting place, before they turned away as one.
"Come on, love," Sherlock said softly, taking Will's hand. "Let's go home."
Will nodded, swallowing hard and taking a deep breath. Sherlock slid his arm around his boyfriend's waist, supporting him as they headed down the path that led away from the waterfall.
Hannibal was gone. The greatest menace to their life together had been vanquished.
Sherlock hoped fervently that they had seen the last of their nemesis, and that the path ahead of them was clear, free of any obstacles that could threaten their future.
It was over. Hannibal couldn't harm them any more. He was gone.
But he was still going to stay alert and wary. Just in case.
After all, they couldn't be too careful.
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