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Title: Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #261, Sorry
Author's Note: Sequel to "Walking Through Syrup."
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.


It shouldn't have been so hard to tell Will that he was sorry.

Hannibal sighed, raising a hand to rub at his eyes. He had been waiting all day either for a phone call, or for Will to show up at his front door.

Really, he should expect the police to show up at the front door, Will along with them. He had been thinking all morning that it would happen, but it was now late afternoon, and it had been a peaceful day. Perhaps Will had been truthful, after all.

He had no reason to believe that his young lover would change his mind, or renege on what he had said. No, Will wouldn't turn him in.

Will loved him too much to do that, and he had shamelessly played on the younger man's feelings for him. Perhaps that hadn't been the best thing to do, but he'd had no other choice, Hannibal told himself with a sigh. He hadn't known what else to do.

He couldn't spend his life in prison, locked away from Will. He couldn't. He had to be with Will, had to keep his freedom to spend his life with the man he loved.

Hannibal sighed softly, resting his head in one hand.

He was lying to himself if he said that he was doing this just for Will, giving up what he was and had been all of his life. He was doing it for himself, too.

The police would close in on him eventually, especially with Will's empathic abilities to guide them. He'd not have been able to hide for the rest of his life; maybe for a few more years, if he was lucky. His reign would have eventually come to an ignominious end.

But now that he had confessed his sins to Will, and had sworn to rehabilitate himself and stop the killing, he had set himself on a new path.

He had tried to tell himself that he was doing this for Will, so that his young love would be in a relationship with someone who was on the straight and narrow, someone who was honest with him and had no secrets to keep. But that wasn't entirely true.

He was giving up what he had always been to save himself. Yes, he wanted to keep his relationship with Will alive, but that was really secondary, wasn't it?

It had been so hard to say that he was sorry, to give up a part of himself.

It was like denying who he was and had always been, ever since his childhood. He hadn't expected it to be that painful, saying goodbye to all of that.

He had to give up all of that up, if he wanted to retain his freedom and keep moving his relationship with Will forward. Hannibal knew that. But still, it was wrenching to say goodbye to something that he had done for so long and grown comfortable with.

For a moment, just one brief moment, he allowed himself to think that maybe, just maybe, Will could get used to what he was, and accept it.

But that wasn't going to happen, and he knew it all too well. Will had far too developed a sense of right and wrong to be able to look away from what he was.

The only reason Will wasn't turning him in was because of their relationship, because of the love they had between them. If the love they shared ever soured, Hannibal knew that Will wouldn't hesitate to do what he thought was right, and his freedom would be taken from him.

A more practical man would tell himself that his one option would be to get rid of Will, even though doing so would cause him untold pain.

But he couldn't do that. He couldn't simply dispatch the man he loved.

Then he would have much more to be sorry for than he had now. He would end up spending the rest of his life apologizing to someone who wasn't there.

And he would end up apologizing to himself for depriving his life of the one love he would ever know, of the most wonderful man he could ever have hoped to be with. No, he wouldn't be able to do that. He wouldn't be able to rid himself of Will's presence.

He needed Will. He always would. Will was a part of him, the best part. He had to risk his freedom to keep Will in his life.

But yet, it was a hard decision to make. Sorry seemed to be the hardest word he'd ever have to say, giving up a large part of who he was, of what had made him the man he was today, was the most difficult thing he'd ever had to face doing.

Still, he was doing it, Hannibal told himself firmly. For Will. For their relationship. For the love that he needed in his life, the love that he wanted to keep there forever.

And for his freedom, which just might be the most important thing of all.

Sorry had seemed to be the hardest word he'd ever said, even though he felt sorry for all that he'd done when he thought of how the knowledge would hurt Will.

But it seemed that in the end, he'd been right to humble himself and say that he was sorry, even though he had to wonder if he really felt all that contrite. Will hadn't turned him in, after all; Will had let love take over, and had listened to his heart.

All he would do now was hope that his young lover would continue to do so, and that he would be able to be true to his promise and change his ways.

He would have to, wouldn't he? He'd promised Will, and he didn't take promises that he made to his lover lightly. Will would expect him to live up to those promises, and he owed it to the man he loved to at least try his best to do just that.

But .... perhaps he would be able to keep doing what he had always done, if he was very, very careful and kept it from Will. He was sure that he could.

It would be a challenge, one that he was sure he could conquer.