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Title: Freedom of Choice
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
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.


Will raised his hand to knock on the front door of Hannibal's house, then smiled wryly and reached for his keys. He'd been given a key to the house; which made it ridiculous to knock. But there were times when he forgot that he'd been given that entrée into Hannibal's life.

And why shouldn't he have it? he thought to himself. He was Hannibal's lover. He spent nearly as much time here now as he did at home, so he should have a key.

Still, it seemed like a major breakthrough in his relationship with Hannibal to be able to come and go from this house as he pleased. There were still some rooms that were locked to him, but he didn't want to pry. In time, he would share all of Hannibal's secrets.

After all, Hannibal already shared pretty much all of his.

Sighing softly, he inserted the key into the lock, blushing as he realized what it made him think of. Himself and Hannibal, entwined in that huge bed upstairs, Hannibal's cock thrusting deep inside him. Him crying out for more, begging Hannibal not to stop ....

He had to stop thinking like that, or it would drive him insane. That was all he'd been able to think about all damn day, instead of focusing on his work. He felt as though his thoughts had somehow been invaded, his freedom to choose what to focus on taken away from him.

Hannibal had taken that away, and this game was going to stop. He had to draw the line somewhere, and he drew that line where his work started and his personal life ended.

He'd never had to do that before, because he'd never had a personal life since he had started working for the FBI. But now that he did, he wanted to keep the two of them separate. For all intents and purposes, his personal life ended when he was at work.

If he didn't view things that way, then he would have some serious problems. He couldn't let Hannibal be in his thoughts constantly; his couldn't let his mind drift. He had to focus on getting inside the minds of the killers he chased; if he didn't, then he wouldn't have a job.

Well, not one where he did this much good, anyway.

Unlocking the front door, he opened it and stepped through, then made sure it was locked before pocketing his keys and heading for Hannibal's office. They were going to have to talk about what he'd dealt with today, and he wasn't particularly looking forward to it.

Hannibal wanted him to be submissive, and that was fine with hm. But he couldn't let his life with Hannibal, a life that he was going to have to keep behind closed doors, start interfering with his work. That would only be a recipe for complete disaster.

He could play this two ways, Will told himself. He could be petulant and angry, or he could try to be diplomatic. The latter would definitely be the better choice.

"Hello, Will." Hannibal looked up as Will entered the room, a small smile curving his lips. "I've been expecting you. I hope you had a pleasant day." There was nothing in his tone to indicate that this day should have been different from any other.

Will almost felt angry; he had to clench his fists at his sides and take a deep breath before he could speak. He had to make Hannibal understand that a line had been crossed.

"I can't do this again, Hannibal. Mixing up my personal life with my work crosses a line that I can't cross. I know it's all fun and games to you, but today I was trying to get inside the mind of a killer, to catch someone who's been hurting people. And I couldn't do it because of .... you know."

His voice had started out a bit hesitant, but as Will spoke, his words gathered strength. "This is one game I can't play. I'll do pretty much anything else, but I can't let what I'm doing with you cross the line into my work. It's too important to me."

"I was given to understand that what you and I share is important to you, as well."

Hannibal's tone sounded mild, but Will could sense the annoyance underneath the words. He supposed that he didn't blame Hannibal; after all, the man was used to being obeyed, that was obvious. Having someone say no to him in any way more than likely didn't sit well with him.

"It does," Will said, swallowing hard. "It means a lot to me. But so does my work. And I can't let the two of them mix again. Not if it's going to affect how I do my job. It's not just my personal comfort that's at stake there. I have a job to do, one that I can't let anything interfere with."

That small smile on Hannibal's face had been replaced now with a slight frown; he stared at Will as though assessing him, then slowly, he nodded.

"I suppose you are right about that. I hadn't considered that your work doesn't leave room for distractions. I'm sorry that I caused you such problems," he said, his voice very soft. "But can you deny that a part of you enjoyed knowing that you were so owned, Will?"

Will stood still for a few moments, biting his lip and considering his answer. He knew that he couldn't lie to Hannibal; this man would see right through any denial he might put forth, and besides, he didn't want to lie. Not to Hannibal.

"No," he finally said, shaking his head. "A part of me did like it. I'll admit that."

"Good." Hannibal stood up and came toward him, stopping in front of him and placing his hands on Will's shoulders. "It's good for you to lose your freedom of choice once in a while, Will. It teaches you that you don't always have the upper hand in any given situation."

"I never thought that I did," Will protested, shaking his head. "I wouldn't ever believe that I had the upper hand when it comes to anything you want."

"It's a good thing for you to realize that," Hannibal told him, dropping his hands from Will's shoulders, his voice becoming brisk. "Now, we need to go to your house so you can pack a bag. You're going to be staying here for a few days, until this situation is cleared up."

Will nodded, relieved that Hannibal hadn't chosen to contest his words. If he had, then Will would have had a hard time convincing him that he wasn't going to deal with any more games like this one. Somehow, Hannibal had a way of convincing him that he was in the wrong.

If his lover had declared that this wasn't the last time Will would have to mix his personal life with his work, then he would have been able to convince Will to back down on his stance. He simply couldn't say no to this man. He had no freedom of choice where Hannibal was concerned.

No one else could have convinced him to play this game again, but Hannibal had some kind of magic hidden in his honeyed words. He could talk Will into almost anything.

Almost being the operative word, Will thought dryly.

That silver tongue hadn't worked this time, but Will had no doubt that when Hannibal wanted something from him in the future, it would. He was putty in this man's hands, malleable clay that could be shaped any way that Hannibal wished it to be. And they both knew it.

"I need to feed the dogs, too," Will said, shoving his hands into his pockets and taking another deep breath. "But first, can you take this thing out of me? I've been really uncomfortable all day, and I don't want it to, errr, hinder anything we might do tonight."

"Oh, nothing we do tonight will be hindered in any way, sweet William." Hannibal's words were confident as he shook his head, moving towards the foyer. "You don't have to worry about that. I don't intend to let anything get in the way of my plans for the evening."

Those words made Will's throat tighten; he had no idea what Hannibal might be planning, but he couldn't help wondering if it was going to be less than pleasant for him.

He didn't know how to answer that assertion; Hannibal had spoken the words with such confidence that there didn't seem to be anything else he could say. But it was fairly obvious that Hannibal didn't intend to remove the plug until he was ready to do so.

Will had to suppress a sigh at that thought. He wanted this thing out of him, but that wasn't going to happen any time soon. Hannibal had made that clear, even without saying anything that directly touched on the subject. He was good at that.

Once again, Will's freedom of choice had been taken away from him, without Hannibal even saying a word about it. It was apparently taken for granted that Will had no choice.

So he would just have to wait a while for the discomfort to end.

He could do that, Will told himself, biting down on his lower lip. He'd put up with it all day; a few more hours probably wouldn't make a difference, though if he was sore tonight, then Hannibal had only himself to blame for that. He should know better than to damage his toys.

Toys? Will thought, surprised at the word his ow mind had used to describe himself. Did he think of himself as nothing more than a toy for Hannibal to play with while it amused him, and then throw it away? Surely he thought more of himself than that.

If he didn't, then he was in some serious trouble when it came to this relationship.

Silently, Will followed Hannibal to the door. He would go to his own home, pack some clothes into an overnight bag, feed the dogs, and then come back here and be whatever Hannibal wanted him to be for the evening. He seemed to have no choice in that matter.

If he gave up his freedom of choice in this matter, how much more would he be talked into giving up in the future? Will wanted to argue, to protest, but he knew that it would do no good. Arguing would only make his lover angry, and make him even more intractable.

Hannibal wasn't the kind of man one toyed with. Will couldn't help feeling that if he asserted himself about this even a tiny bit more, his lover could very well turn on him.

With a sigh, he dug his keys out of his pocket as he followed Hannibal out to the car. At some point, they were going to have to talk about this -- but he still had the definite feeling that he would not be the one coming out on the winning end of the discussion.