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Title: Gilded Cage
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: 1drabble
Prompt: 20, Bittersweet
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. soar


Will stretched his lean body out on the couch in his living room, looking over at the dogs slumbering in their baskets and on the rug. They, at least, seemed happy. Their lives were going just the way they were intended to, with no bumps in the road.

There were times when he wished he could be like his dogs, happy and comfortable with everything around him, nothing to disturb his quiet peacefulness.

But things couldn't be that way for a human, he told himself with a soft sigh. Especially not when he was a human who had needs and desires that most people didn't even think about, desires that most would turn away from and find repugnant.

Hannibal was the only person who could assuage those desires.

He wanted Hannibal, with all of his mind, body and soul. He had never been as happy as he'd felt when Hannibal had told him that he was going to stay in Baltimore, that the two of them would still be together. But yet, there was something missing from that happiness.

Yes, Hannibal was staying with him -- but the victory was bittersweet. He couldn't help wondering if his lover was staying here more out of a sense of responsibility to him and their relationship than because he really wanted to stay -- and that stung more than it should.

He didn't want to be an obligation for Hannibal -- he wanted to be Hannibal's desire, just as the other man was his. He wanted Hannibal to be glad that he had stayed, rather than being one of his lover's regrets. He didn't think he could stand knowing that Hannibal might be unhappy.

But it wasn't as though he could ask the other man if he was happy with his decision or not; that would feel as though he was intruding on Hannibal's thoughts, and he'd been warned about that. It was a line that he wasn't allowed to cross.

Hannibal had given him a certain kind of freedom -- but maybe he wasn't so free after all.

There were times when his freedom to be himself, to explore his needs and desires, felt almost like a gilded cage. He was free to roam within the confines of that cage, but he could never cross out of it, never truly stretch his wings and let himself fly.

So, it wasn't really freedom, was it? Will sighed, closing his eyes and pushing that thought away. It didn't really matter. Not when he considered all that Hannibal gave him.

Even if his wings were slightly clipped, this was the kind of freedom that he had wanted, that he had always longed for. So if he was kept in a gilded cage, then he had to learn to accept the limits of that cage -- or eventually meet his end trying to escape from it.