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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: 20 in 20 Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: 18, Vacation
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 really needed a vacation.
Will sat back in his chair, rubbing at his eyes. He had just woken up; this was the second time in three days he'd fallen asleep here in his office, trying to get some papers graded for his students. He was working himself into the ground.
He needed some rest, some peace and quiet. Most of all, he needed some sleep.
But he didn't see that happening any time soon, not with the burden that Jack was putting on him to find the killer who was murdering men that resembled him. There was more and more pressure from Jack every day, pressure that amounted to veiled threats.
Find this killer, or you no longer have a job. That was pretty much what Jack's constant harping amounted to. And it wasn't helping.
Of course, even if he could never catch this killer and Jack didn't want him to keep doing field work, he'd still have a job. He'd still be a teacher at the FBI Academy. Jack couldn't take that away from him, no matter how much he might want to.
He'd proven his worth as a professor. That, at least, was safe.
What he wanted to do was to put all of this behind him for a while, get away somewhere that Jack couldn't get in touch with him, where he could forget about all of it. Only for a while. He would eventually return to it, but right now, he desperately needed an escape.
He wasn't going to be allowed to have that escape, and he knew it. Jack would keep pushing until he came up with results -- or until he was excluded from field work.
Why did he care so much? It wasn't like he'd asked for this.
He hadn't asked for Jack Crawford to pull him out of his comfortable, safe classroom and have him working in the field. He hadn't asked to look at dead bodies every day and try to get inside the heads of killers. He hadn't wanted this.
But now that he was in the middle of it, he felt an obligation to the people whose bodies he viewed after the life had been stolen from them. He couldn't simply turn away.
Especially to the men who had been murdered because they looked like him.
They had done nothing wrong. They had committed no crime. They had been killed because of him, because they were unfortunate enough to share some physical traits with him. And he couldn't help but feel horribly guilty about that fact.
No, it wasn't his fault that they'd been killed, but it might as well be. If he hadn't somehow attracted this killer's attention, all of those young men would still be alive.
So, in a way, it was his fault. And it was his responsibility to catch this killer, to ensure that no more men who looked like him would be killed. Every time this killer took another victim, it only added to the guilt that was already heaped on him.
He needed to get away from all of this. Just for a few days.
Jack would never consent to him taking a vacation, of course. But this was something he needed, before he went completely out of his mind. He couldn't keep pushing himself at the rate he had been without expecting something within him to break down.
Somehow, he had to talk Jack into this. He had to let the tension seep out of him, before he became so tightly strung that he snapped.
Jack had to understand that. And if he didn't, well, then that was his tough luck.
He would take a vacation. He'd get away from all of this, push it into the back of his mind. He'd spend some time alone -- or maybe with Hannibal, if his lover would condescend to spend a few days alone with him in Wolf Trap.
Yes, that was it. That would be perfect. Time with Hannibal, for the two of them alone. Will pushed back his chair, reaching for his briefcase. He would go to Jack now and tell him that he needed to get away, and he wouldn't take no for an answer.
Jack might not like the idea, but he'd have to accept it. If he didn't want his wind-up automaton to break under his pressure, then he had no choice.
He needed this. More than he had ever needed anything in his life.
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