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Title: Giving Thanks
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Nothing Matters Without You."
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 had a lot to be thankful for.
Will leaned back on the couch, sighing and feeling replete. Hannibal had insisted that he stay here for Thanksgiving dinner, and he'd spent the day cooking. Will had also insisted on helping him, so they had been in the kitchen for a long time.
He'd discovered that he actually enjoyed helping Hannibal around the kitchen. Even though he didn't know much about cooking, he could at least do little things.
Hannibal had bought an entire turkey, and together, they had made most of the other food. It had only been the two of them, of course, and Will had thought that it was far too much food for just two people. But they had managed to demolish most of it.
Working in the kitchen had given him more of an appetite than he had thought it. And he'd felt a strange little glow of satisfaction when Hannibal had remarked on his appetite and said that it was a positive sign, and that he must be feeling better.
Little things like that could make him feel happy.
He had so much to be happy about. First and foremost, thanks to Hannibal, he was still alive. He could so easily be a mouldering corpse right now, dead and buried and well on the way to being forgotten by all but his closest friends. He was lucky in that respect.
He could have easily been nothing more than just another victim, another one of the thousands of men who were murdered every year. He could easily be just another statistic. But thanks to Hannibal and his devotion, he wasn't.
How did you thank someone for saving your life, when they insisted that they didn't want the thanks, that it was simply something they'd had to do?
He was more thankful for having Hannibal in his life than he could possibly say. Without Hannibal, he would be so much less than he was. Not only would he be dead now, but even if he wasn't, he wouldn't have the self-confidence that Hannibal had instilled in him.
Well, he was still working on that. But he was getting there.
Hannibal had done so much for him in the relatively short time that they'd been together. He had taken a man who was so shy he wore glasses that he didn't need to shield him from the world, and turned him into someone who actually enjoyed expressing himself.
Well, at least in the privacy of the bedroom, Will thought with a cynical smile. In other places, he still had the tendency to try and melt into the background.
He'd always asserted himself at his job, but that was because he'd never had doubts about his abilities in that field. There were times when he didn't want to speak up, when he felt like Jack's pet freak, but he had always managed to overcome that shyness.
He was starting to assert himself in his romantic life with Hannibal, too -- or at least, he had been, before all of this had happened. Will felt as though he'd been pushed back, as though his sexuality had suddenly decided to bury itself again.
He couldn't let that happen. Not now.
Not when he and Hannibal had begun to explore their relationship more than ever, and to knock down some of the boundaries that Will had always hidden behind. He wanted to keep knocking down those walls, until all of them had crumbled to the ground and disappeared.
He wanted to let himself go, to feel completely free with his lover. He wanted to discover a side of himself that he'd never dared to let out before.
Will sighed softly, closing his eyes. It didn't seem like he was going to be able to do that; he felt closed in, as though he was hiding amongst all of the various insecurities that had always blocked him before. Now, they were hiding him away more than ever.
A part of him wanted Hannibal. But another, stronger, part of him was afraid to reach out, just as he had been before that fateful night when Hannibal had taken matters into his own hands and relieved Will of his virginity with no second thoughts.
He'd gladly given that virginity to Hannibal. He would do it again.
That was another thing he had to be thankful for, really -- that he was with someone who he trusted in every way, someone who he loved. He could so easily still be alone, with no one to turn to, no one to talk to who could help him through the trauma he'd faced.
Hannibal had been there for him in ways that no one else would have been. Hannibal had helped him face what had happened, and he could almost feel that he was ready to resume their intimate relationship. Not just yet, but soon. Very soon.
Actually, maybe it would be sooner than he'd anticipated. Strangely enough, he found himself missing their intimacies, missing the closeness.
He was thankful for that closeness; it was something he'd never had in his life before. Something that he'd always been afraid to reach out for with anyone else, afraid of the rejection that he was sure he would have to face, the hurt it would engender within him.
Hannibal hadn't rejected him. He never would.
His lover was always going to be here for him. He had never asked Hannibal point-blank if that were so; he simply knew it in his heart and soul. He and Hannibal had a bond, a connection that most people were never lucky enough to find in their lives.
Yet another thing that he had to be grateful for, Will told himself. If he really searched his soul, he was sure that he would find a lot more.
But for the moment, Hannibal and their relationship was what he was giving thanks for. If he didn't have that relationship, then he would undoubtedly have been killed by the psycho who had abducted him. If not for Hannibal, he would have lost his life.
Hannibal meant everything to him, even though he had a hard time saying that. Even now, when the thought of how much he owed Hannibal, how much he loved him, was uppermost in his mind, WIll still knew that he would have a hard time actually getting the words out.
And Hannibal would probably have a hard time accepting them.
The two of them would always go around in circles about this. He was sure of it. Neither of them had an easy time admitting that they needed help -- or accepting that someon ewas grateful for their help. It was just the way they were made.
But he was grateful to have Hannibal in his life, in more ways that he could possibly put into words. He had to trust that Hannibal realized that, and that his lover knew that Will was giving thanks for him at this very moment.
Of course he did. Hannibal seemed to know everything that he was thinking, even before he himself had managed to make the words crystallize in his mind.
Hannibal had insisted on rinsing the dishes and putting them into the dishwasher himself; he had told WIll to sit down, and that he would join him momentarily. Any moment now, Hannibal would be sitting down beside him, and their evening would progress.
Will couldn't help feeling that it might end with them in bed together.
He wasn't entirely sure that was what he wanted, but if it happened, he wouldn't say no. He wanted to get their relationship back to the point where it had been before. He needed that. He needed to know that Hannibal still wanted him.
Will smiled as he heard the other man's footsteps move through the kitchen. He had the definite feeling that soon, very soon, he would be giving thanks for Hannibal in a very different way.
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