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Title: Hear Me
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #537, Hear/Listen
Author's Note: Sequel to "Crumbling Barriers."
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.
***Sometimes he wondered if Hannibal really heard what he said.
Was his lover only taking him to bed now because of what he'd said about them seeming to run so hot and cold in the physical sense? Or had he heard the deeper plea in Will's voice, the plea for them to become closer in ways that had nothing to do with sex?
Yes, he wanted to be close to Hannibal in a sexual way. That was something he'd craved ever since their first kiss, the first time they'd touched.
But he wanted more than just sexual intimacy. He wanted a closeness with Hannibal that came from not just shared bodies, but shared hearts. And even though he knew that Hannibal cared for him, sometimes he wondered if they shared that kind of closeness.
They were close in a lot of ways. But somehow, he didn't think they shared that kind of soul bond, the bond he so desperately wanted.
Or did they? There were times when Hannibal seemed to know what he was thinking, times when his lover seemed to see right through him directly into his soul. Maybe they did share that kind of a bond, even though he didn't feel it all the time.
Like now, when he needed to feel it the most.
Why couldn't he feel that bond? Why did he feel that what they were headed upstairs to do was something that would only touch their bodies, not their hearts and souls? Why did he feel that Hannibal listened to him, but didn't really hear him?
Will stopped walking up the stairs, standing halfway up, one hand on the railing. He wondered if Hannibal would even notice that he wasn't still following.
He did. Hannibal took a few more steps, then turned around, a frown on his face. "Will? Is something wrong? Did you forget something downstairs, or outside in your car perhaps?" His voice was soft, but Will could hear the annoyance underlying the words.
He didn't want to hear that sound in Hannibal's voice. He hated that tone.
But he didn't know how to avoid it, or how to make it disappear. It felt as though he'd somehow lost his connection to Hannibal; he loved the other man with all of his heart and soul, but it felt as though a barrier had grown up between them, once that he didn't know how to bring down.
Where had that barrier come from? He didn't know, and neither did he know how to scale it. He didn't know how to fight against the forces that seemed ranged against him.
But he had to fight, if he wanted to keep Hannibal. That was obvious. He didn't want to let his lover slip away from him, or turn to someone else. He wanted them to find that closeness that he was searching for, to find it and hold onto it and never let go.
How could he tell Hannibal that in words that made sense?
"You don't hear me." The words came out of his mouth unbidden, without him thinking about them. "You're drifting away from me even when we're together."
"Hear you?" Hannibal's brows drew together in perplexity; it was obvious to Will that his lover really didn't understand what he meant. "Will, we talk all the time. We have psychiatric sessions, and I listen to you very carefully. Of course I hear you."
Will shook his head, sighing, wishing that he could get how he felt across in some eloquent speech. But he simply didn't have the words within him.
"No, that's not what I mean," he said, feeling frustrated. "I mean that you don't hear me. Not what I say out loud. You don't hear my heart. My soul. How I feel inside."
Hannibal came swiftly down the stairs, taking Will's chin in his hand and lifting the young man's face to his. Though they were now standing on the same stair, Will still had to look up at Hannibal; he was struck by how their stance reflected their positions in each other's lives.
He was subservient to Hannibal. He always would be, and in some ways -- in most ways -- he was utterly comfortable with that. He didn't want to take charge.
But he wanted his lover to hear him. To hear his heart, as he'd said.
"I cannot know how you feel inside unless you impart that information to me, Will," Hannibal said, his voice quiet as his gaze searched Will's face. "I would dearly love to know how you feel. But there are barriers you put up between us. I can't knock them down by myself."
With a shock, Will realized that Hannibal's words were true. Yes, there were barriers between them. But they were barriers of his own making.
He was the one who had put those barriers in place, to protect his heart. And as their relationship had grown into something more than friendship, more than doctor and patient, and they had become lovers, he had forgotten to let those barriers fall.
He had only himself to blame for feeling that Hannibal didn't hear him.
With those barriers in place, Hannibal couldn't hear him. He only told his lover what he wanted him to hear; he couldn't expect Hannibal to read his mind or search his soul. He hadn't given the other man his permission to do so.
Hannibal would never try to delve into his mind without that permission. it was something that he himself had to grant. He had to let Hannibal hear him.
"You can't hear me because I haven't let you," he whispered, trying to wrap his mind around the revelation that had just burst into his consciousness. "I have to be the one to let those barriers down. I never realized that before. I'm the one who's been holding us back."
Hannibal shook his head, a soft smile on his lips.
"No, my sweet," he said softly, his words breaking into Will's thoughts. "I wouldn't say that you have held us back. Rather, you have only made the time that we spend getting to know each other stretch into a much longer time that it might have been."
Will nodded slowly, wondering if Hannibal was right. Maybe what he'd done -- albeit unconsciously -- had been a good thing. They didn't need to learn each other too quickly.
He would have to be the one who let those walls down, who let Hannibal in. He had to let his lover hear him, rather than holding back his innermost feelings. He had thought that he was letting them out, but he really hadn't been.
The only time those feelings had come out was when they were making love. And they had been expressed in actions, not in words.
"From now on, I'll let you hear me," Will said softly, his gaze never wavering from Hannibal's face. "I'll say what I mean -- and I'll let you hear my heart, Hannibal. I won't be afraid to let you see everything I feel. I'll let you know everything. I just need to hear what I say."
Hannibal nodded, his expression serious. "I will. Even when you don't say it in so many words."
Will nodded, knowing that his lover would keep his word. Hannibal would hear the voice of his heart, no matter how it was expressed. He just had to be sure to keep those barriers from going back up again, and keep his heart open for Hannibal to hear it.
When Hannibal turned to head back up the steps, taking Will's hand as he did so, Will followed him, his step more eager than it had been before. This would be a night of intimacy -- and he was sure that when his heart spoke, this time, Hannibal would hear him loud and clear.
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