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Title: Going Through Changes
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Devoured By the Darkness."
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 leaned against the kitchen counter, watching Hannibal as the other man prepared dinner.
He knew that this was chicken he was going to be eating -- he'd made sure of that by bringing it over himself. Hannibal had accepted it with what appeared to be good grace, smiling as he took the food.
"Thank you for bringing dinenr, Will. It is appreciated. It would have been terribly rude of me to go out grocery shopping while you were here, as I did not have chicken in the house." He set the food on the counter, going to the cabinets and taking out what looked to be jars of spices.
"Always glad to be of service," Will told him with a slight smile, wondering if the other man was cognizant of all the hidden meanings behind his words.
He never really knew with Hannibal, did he? It seemed that every move they made, every word they said, was some kind of intricate dance, one that he was never fully sure that he knew the steps of. One day, Will told himself with an inward sigh, he was going to stumble in that dance and fall -- and what would happen then?
He didn't want to think about that. The day that he stumbled and fell would probably end up being the last day of his life -- a day that he didn't want to arrive any time soon.
When it did, he hoped that he would be prepared to stand and fight.
But for the moment, that day was still a long while away -- or at least he hoped so. For now, he had to concentrate on trying to get Hannibal to talk about his crimes, to trap him.
That was proving to be one of the hardest things he'd ever tried to do, he thought as he leaned back against the counter and silently watched the other man work. Hannibal almost seemed to know what he was doing, to have some idea of the fact that Will wasn't exactly as he appeared to be.
Was that possible? Could Hannibal actually know that Will was trying to lead him into a trap, and be carefully sidestepping every lure that Will tried to throw out to catch him?
No, he didn't think so. He hadn't given Hannibal any reason to believe that he hadn't turned towards the darkness within himself, that he wasn't gradually moving towards the place that Hannibal obviously wanted him to be. He had been very careful about that; he was sure that Hannibal had no idea of his real feelings.
Hannibal was arrogant enough to believe that his influence was taking Will over, that he was exerting a power that Will couldn't resist. And that, Will told himself, would be the monster's downfall.
His pride was going to trip him up, and Will would be there to see him fall.
He'd thought about this all the time that he was in that horrible so-called "hospital," dreamed about bringing Hannibal down for nearly every hour of every day.
It was all he'd had to keep him going, and he had let his mind wrap around the idea of taking that revenge to the point whree it was all that he'd been able to think about. He hadn't been able to concentrate on anything else; revenge had filled him to the point where he had started to wonder if he was any better than the criminals he put away.
Yes, he was, Will told himself firmly. Of course he was. He wasn't looking for revenge just for what Hannibal had done to him. He wanted closure, for all of Hannibal's victims, not just for himself.
He had to find justice, for all of them. He had to succeed in making Hannibal confess, and putting him behind bars. He owed it to all of those people.
His own revenge wasn't nearly as important as finding closure for all of the families of those victims, the people who'd had someone they loved cruelly ripped away from them. He was still here, still living and breathing. He hadn't lost as much as those people had. He still had his life, and he would use that to good advantage.
Of course, if Hannibal realized his deception, he would very likely try to kill him -- which was why he had to be on his guard, and not let himself slip up and make a mistake if he could possibly help it.
That would be more easily said than done, he thought with a slight grimace.
"Will? Are you all right?" Hannibal was staring at him, a slight frown on his face. "You look as though you're thinking some very dark thoughts. Is there anything that you would care to share?"
Will shook his head, feeling a little dazed. That was one mistake that he couldn't afford to make, he told himself sternly. He couldn't get lost in his own thoughts while he was around Hannibal; the other man might not be able to tell what he was thinking, but he could certainly see that something was wrong from his facial expressions.
He couldn't let Hannibal have even the slightest inkling that he wasn't falling under that spell the other man was trying to wrap around him. He had to stick to his plan, keep up his deception.
That deception would be the only way to catch Hannibal, the only way to bring him to justice. He had to fool this man, to make him believe that he was melding into Hannibal's darkness, that he was accepting it for himself. If he couldn't do that, then he might very well end up dead, which, to him, would serve no purpose whatsoever.
Dead was the last thing he wanted to be. He wouldn't let himself end up like Hannibal's other victims. No, he would be a survivor -- and he would be the one to bring this monster to justice.
It wouldn't be easy, but then, nothing worth doing ever was.
"I'm okay," he said, giving Hannibal a smile as he raised the bottle of water in his hand to his lips and took a sip. "Just thinking of .... all that's in the future. All that I need to learn, and the things I need to get used to."
The satisfied, smug smile on Hannibal's face told him that he'd said the right words, the words that Hannibal had wanted to hear, whether he had expected them or not. "That's good to know, Will. I was a bit worried that you were starting to look backwards into the past, rather than forward, to the future."
"I won't do that," Will said softly, knowing that every word out of his mouth was a lie even as he spoke them. "The past is over and done. I'm a different person now."
"And you will change even more as time goes by," Hannibal said, his voice very soft. Will could almost feel the seductive tendrils that those words sent out, trying to wrap around him and draw him into something that he didn't want, something dark and dangerous that his very soul recoiled from.
He only smiled at Hannibal, nodding as though he agreed, even as he inwardly pulled away. "I'm sure I will," he murmured, taking another sip of his water.
Any changes that took place wouldn't be the ones that Hannibal might expect.
Oh, he was going through some changes, all right. Just as he'd been through changes when he was in prison. But those changes had only hardened his resolve to do what was just, what was right.
In the end, those changes would be the ones he wanted to effect, and not the ones that Hannibal wanted. In the end, he would be the winner in this game, if it was the last thing he ever did.
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