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Title: His Secret Heart
Pairing: Will Graham/Sherlock Holmes
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.
***Sherlock stood in front of Will's cell, hands clasped behind his back.
"I know who did it," Sherlock told Will, gazing at the other man through the bars of his prison cell. "It only remains to gather a bit more evidence. He's covered his tracks carefully, but I'll find it. And he'll be taking your place here."
He wished that he had better news to tell Will. He wished that he could simply whisk Will away out of this place, and not have to present evidence of who had actually committed the crime. But these idiots seemed so reluctant to accept Will's innocence.
With any other prisoner, they would have accepted Sherlock's evidence. But they wanted to be sure they could replace Will with someone else.
Why were they so eager to keep Will locked up?
Sherlock didn't really have to ask himself that question. He knew why. The guilty party, the man who had committed those murders and was responsible for Will being here, was making sure that he stayed here, like a rat trapped in a cage.
He wanted to study Will, to see the effects of incarceration on him, to push him ever closer to the point of madness as some kind of experiment.
The very thought made Sherlock seethe with anger. Will didn't belong here; that bastard did. Hannibal Lecter should be the one behind those bars; he should be the one suffering the effects of being kept captive, of having his freedom taken away from him.
He was going to prove that Lecter was behind this. He already had the evidence, but of course, Lecter's friends and colleagues didn't want to acknowledge it.
No, of course they didn't. They wanted to keep Will locked up, to believe that an innocent man was capable of such brutality. They would do anything to protect their precious Lecter; they were all afraid of him, so terrified not to dance to his piping.
Well, Sherlock wasn't afraid of him. Sherlock would be his undoing.
Will nodded, sighing softly. Sherlock's heart went out to him; he wished more than anything that he could take Will out of here.
Was he being too obvious about that? Was he wearing his heart on his sleeve, letting his secret heart show in a way that he never had before? He'd always been able to keep that heart from being on view in the past, though it had never been involved like this before.
He had always been able to keep his impassive mask in place, to distance himself from his cases. Before this, he'd never let himself care too much.
But things had changed when he'd taken on Will Graham's case.
His impassivity had vanished, as well as his impartiality. He hadn't been able to push his own feelings aside and merely concentrate on the case.
Will had burrowed his way into Sherlock's heart and soul, and there he would stay. Even if he were to find out that Will wasn't gay, that he had no interest in men, Sherlock knew that Will Graham would be a part of his heart forever. He would always have a place there.
He hadn't wanted that. He hadn't expected it. He hadn't thought that this case would engaged his heart even more than his mind.
But it wasn't unwelcome. He wasn't turning away from it.
It was terrifying, in a way, he was making himself vulnerable, and he was well aware of that. But such a vulnerability also gave him a certain strength and conviction, and he somehow felt that they bolstered him, buoyed him up and made him feel .... protected.
For the first time in his life, he was opening his heart.
He'd never dared to do this before. He'd never wanted to. He'd never even considered opening his heart and letting someone walk through it.
But now that he'd done so, now that he had accepted the reality of his feelings for Will, he wasn't going to turn back. He was going to embrace those feelings, to let them take him over, to wrap themselves around him and envelop him.
It was hard to know where to start; he'd never felt anything like this before, and he had nothing to go on. No experience at all in following his heart.
But he would learn. He was determined to learn.
He wanted to open his secret heart to Will, to fling those doors wide open and let Will walk inside. He was going to put his heart on the line.
It was frightening, and at the same time, it was exhilarating. Sherlock had always felt that he was apart from others, always on the outside looking in, like the child with his nose pressed to the window watching the happy family behind the glass.
He had always thought that he would never find anyone to love -- or anyone to love him. He had long ago resigned him to thinking that he wasn't meant for love.
But Will Graham gave him hope.
Will made him feel that he was capable of loving -- and of being loved. He had never seen himself in that light before, and he liked it.
He liked visualizing himself as being the sort of person who could attract a lover, someone who wanted him not only for his famous name, or what they perceived as an attractive face and body, but someone who saw him for who he was, who saw and loved the man inside.
He wanted someone who could see behind the masks he wore, someone who would treasure his secret heart and keep it safe and protected.
Sherlock was sure that Will Graham was that person.
He didn't doubt that Will had often felt the same as he had -- a lonely man who was always an outsider. He could feel that kinship in Will, feel that the other man wanted to reach out, but was afraid of rejection. Well, this time, he wouldn't be rejected.
He didn't just want Will -- he needed him. He needed that contact between them, needed to feel Will's heart touch his own.
He'd often wondered if that was how Watson had felt about him -- but he had never been able to feel that way about his friend. There was nothing between himself and John but friendship, and never would be. And anyway, John was married now. He'd found happiness.
And left Sherlock without a partner in his crimesolving, which had been annoying. But it had been time for them to go their separate ways.
Now, Will was in his life -- or would be, once he managed to secure the proof that he needed to get the young man out of jail. He should have enough proof already, but these idiots were determined to keep Will behind bars, for what reason, Sherlock didn't know.
They were probably afraid of him.
Of jealous of him, Sherlock thought with a soft sigh. He really wouldn't be surprised at that. Someone as brilliant as Will was bound to have enemies -- and the very people who had used him for their own ends and played upon his feelings of friendship were the worst of those.
But he would rescue Will, Sherlock vowed. He would get him out of prison, then the two of them would go to London and get Will far away from this place.
Will looked at him, not speaking, those bright blue eyes locked with his own. Sherlock couldn't look away for several long moments; he knew that his secret heart was showing in his gaze, but he couldn't hold back his feelings. They were determined to break through.
"Thank you," Will whispered, his gaze seeming to wrap itself around Sherlock's heart. "Thank you for giving me hope. Thank you for helping me to believe."
In that moment, the feelings held in his secret heart were no longer secrets.
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