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Title: Harder To Hide
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: Story 04
Author's Note: One-shot.
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 looked down at the corpse on the floor, trying to concentrate all of his attention on it. He didn't want to look up at Hannibal, who was standing across from him on the other side of the body. He didn't want anyone to see the expression on his face, in his eyes.
It was getting harder and harder to hide how he felt about Hannibal. And at some point, he knew that someone he worked with would see those feelings.
That was the last thing either he or Hannibal needed. Hannibal could lose his psychiatry license for having a personal relationship with a patient. And Will could lose his job with the FBI. They could both be prosecuted. They could face jail time.
He didn't want his career to end. Not like that. He might not particularly like what he was doing at the moment, but it helped to save lives. He was doing some good in the world. For once in his life, he felt that he was making a difference.
He didn't want that to stop. If it did, he would lose a large part of himself.
Even if he somehow managed to elude prosecution, even if he could say that Hannibal had seduced him, he probably wouldn't be able to continue working with the FBI, not in this capacity. He would have to go back to teaching, and let that be his life.
He didn't want that, either. Yes, he loved teaching, but he didn't feel that he did anyone much good in a classroom. This was what he had to do.
And it could all be swept away from him if he revealed his feelings for Hannibal. He couldn't let anyone see those emotions, couldn't let anyone know that he was falling in love with the enigmatic man who stood so close to him, gazing down at the corpse.
What was he going to do if anyone he worked with confronted him about his feelings for his psychiatrist? He had no idea how he would respond to such a question; the only thing he knew for sure was that he wasn't going to deny those feelings.
If he did that, then he would be denying everything that he and Hannibal shared, and he wouldn't do that. Hannibal might not love him, but he had opened Will to an intimacy that he'd never known or thought he would ever know, and he owed his lover for doing that.
Hannibal had given him a kind of freedom that he'd never had before.
All right, so it wasn't love. What he and Hannibal had between them more rightly had its roots in good old-fashioned lust, but that didn't seem to matter. He had never asked for love. He had never even told Hannibal that he was falling in love.
He knew that Hannibal didn't feel the same way about him, but he couldn't help hoping that Hannibal at least cared for him a little, that their relationship wasn't just a slaking of lusts for the other man. He'd like to think that there was room for love to develop.
It was hard to think of Hannibal in those terms, to think of him having a softer side. Yet he had seen that softness, felt it when Hannibal held him.
That didn't happen often, but when it did, Will treasured the moments. He knew that it wasn't easy for his lover to show that he had a softer side to his personality, and he was grateful that Hannibal was able to let him see it, however briefly.
Still, that softness wasn't love. It wasn't even desire; it was a part of Hannibal's nature to be the best at everything he did, and Will knew that holding him and comforting him after a particularly rough encounter was Hannibal's way of being a good dominant.
He appreciated that Hannibal thought enough of him to want to take care of him in such a way, but there was still a part of him that wished Hannibal could let down the barriers he'd built around himself, and open himself to love and being loved.
But he would never do that. Will knew him too well.
His own feelings were out there for Hannibal to see; sometimes he couldn't help but feel a little angry that they weren't acknowledged.
It wasn't Hannibal's way to acknowledge what they shared, Will told himself firmly. Even if he could, even if there would be no consequences for both of them to admit to their relationship and bring it out into the open, Hannibal probably still wouldn't do it.
Even if he wasn't Hannibal's patient, and they only worked together on a few cases like this one, his lover still wouldn't want to make their relationship public. He would obviously be friendly towards Will, but he wouldn't acknowledge their physical relationship.
That wasn't the sort of man Hannibal was. He didn't believe in making his private life public knowledge, and Will knew that he would have to accept that fact. He would have to be content with being seen as nothing more than Hannibal's friend.
It wasn't like they could simply announce their relationship to all and sundry, he thought with a sigh. But it would be nice if they could. He'd just like for people to know that he was with an amazing man, and that he was in love. That was all.
Looking up, he realized that Jack was looking at him, a frown on his face. Only then did he realize that his sigh had been audible; it was obvious that he wasn't paying attention to his work.
"Sorry," he mumbled, a blush spreading over his face. "Got a little distracted."
"This isn't the time for distractions, Will," Jack said, his tone sharp, his frown deepening. "We've got to find this killer, and quickly. He's already killed four people. I don't want any more innocent people to die on my watch. And you're the only one who can help."
"I know." Will spoke softly, glancing at Hannibal as he did so. His lover was watching him, nodding slightly as though he fully agreed with Jack's words. He probably did, Will thought, swallowing another sigh. Hannibal believed in keeping focused when he was working.
But it was hard to stay focused when the man he loved was right there, in front of him, so close and yet so far away. It was hard to hide how he felt.
He had to, Will told himself sternly. He couldn't let everyone know what he was thinking, how he was feeling. That could be disastrous for both of them, and even if he took the fall for those feelings, he wasn't going to take his lover down with him.
It was harder to hide those feelings every time he looked at Hannibal. The smart thing to do would be to ask his lover not to come to any more crime scenes, even if Jack asked him. It would be much easier for Will to keep his mind on what he was doing if Hannibal wasn't there.
But if Hannibal wasn't at these crime scenes with him, there would be an integral piece missing, and it would be harder than ever for him to concentrate.
He was caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
"I think I should go," Hannibal announced, glancing at Will. "I have an appointment this afternoon, and some things that I need to get done. I will see you tonight for our session, Will. Please let me know if you get a break with this case."
"I will," Will murmured as Hannibal took his leave. His eyes followed his lover out of the room, and even when he turned back towards the corpse and tried to study it objectively, he had a hard time keeping his mind on what he was doing.
He had to get Hannibal out of his mind during his working hours. If he didn't, then he was going to put his job in jeopardy -- not to mention his good reputation.
Closing his eyes, he let himself focus on his job, forcing himself to put his lover out of his mind. But it was getting harder and harder to do that -- and if his feelings were this hard to hide at this point, he dreaded to know how much stronger they could become in the future.
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