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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Seven Heavenly Virtues Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: Fortitude - Never giving up.
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.
***No matter how bad things seemed, he couldn't give up.
Giving up would be surrendering, letting Hannibal win in the end. And he couldn't do that. Not after all that he had been through, all that he'd suffered at Hannibal's hands.
If he gave up now, then Hannibal would have the satisfaction of knowing that he'd been the ultimate winner. Will didn't want that; he wanted Hannibal to be defeated, to know that he had lost, to know that justice had finally triumphed over his evil.
The entire time he'd been behind bars in the Baltimore State Hospital For the Criminally Insane, he hadn't let himself give up. He wasn't going to do it now.
He wasn't going to sink into depression just because Hannibal had disappeared -- and because someone who he'd thought might be one of his allies had gone with him. He should have known better than to trust du Maurier -- she had never seemed quite right to him.
She might have believed him when he'd said that Hannibal was the Chesapeake Ripper -- but that was only because she had known that it was the truth.
She had apparently been working with Hannibal all along.
Treacherous bitch, he thought, his lip curling in disdain. He should have known that anyone who had been close to Hannibal at one time would stay an ally of his.
And also that anyone who defected to Hannibal's side did so because they were, at heart, just as evil and monstrous as he was. They hadn't been seduced by his darkness; they had answered the call of darkness within themselves, without a backward glance.
Anyone who allied themselves with Hannibal was dead to him, and just as guilty as that monster was. That was a decision he wouldn't budge from.
When he made up his mind, he stuck with his decisions.
Well, not always, Will thought with a sigh. He had made up his mind when he had first started those long-ago sessions with Hannibal to try to trust him, to open up.
He'd done so at first, and look where that had gotten him. Hannibal had been able to get inside his mind, to screw him up to the point where there hadn't been times when he knew if he was coming or going. He had been rewired, conditioned, and under Hannibal's influence.
Not only that, but Hannibal had nearly killed him with that encephalitis. He had actually induced those terrifying seizures.
And he'd done it all as some kind of experiment, nothing more. He had wanted to see how far he could push Will before he'd go over the edge of a proverbial cliff.
Luckily, he'd managed to hang on by the skin of his teeth and not go tumbling over that edge into a dark abyss of Hannibal's making. He hadn't let himself be destroyed; he hadn't given up then, either. He'd hung on, determined to keep himself sane.
In the end, he had managed to save himself -- even though Hannibal had made a masterful effort to destroy him, and had almost succeeded.
But he knew Hannibal's trickery now. He would be ready for it when they met again.
Will didn't doubt that they would. Hannibal was still obsessed with him; he would contrive a meeting at some point, and Will would catch him.
Maybe he himself was more than a little obsessed with capturing Hannibal now that he knew the full extent of that monster's evil. Hannibal was so much worse than Will had thought he was, and what he'd thought was pretty damn bad indeed.
Hannibal was capable of anything. There was no crime that he wouldn't commit, no evil that he wouldn't embrace. He wasn't human. He didn't even approximate human.
He could wear a human mask, but it was nothing more than a veneer.
That mask had been ripped off before, and it would be again. Only this time, Will intended to show the world just what sort of evil that mask kept hidden.
He hadn't lost his fortitude when he was in jail; he hadn't given up then, and he wouldn't give up now. Even if the situation looked hopeless, even if he sometimes felt that Hannibal was hidden away too well and would never be caught, he wouldn't let go of that hope.
Sooner or later, Hannibal would slip up and make a fatal error, and then they'd have him. It would only be a matter of time before his pride would bring him out into the open.
Once that happened -- and Will was sure that it would -- he and Jack would be able to capture Hannibal, to lock him up safely away from the rest of the world, where he couldn't do any more harm to anyone. That would be the best day of his life.
He wasn't going to give up. Things might look bad right now, with Hannibal in the wind -- but they would turn around. He would be caught, and imprisoned.
Only then would Will be able to relax and rest easily again.
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