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Title: Momentary Illusion
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Will Graham/Sherlock Holmes
Fandom: Hannibal/Sherlock
Rating: PG-13
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 frowned as he ambled slowly down the street, the plastic carrier holding two cups of coffee held in one hand.

There hadn't been any more threats, open or covert, made on Will's life since they'd arrived back in London. But he didn't try to delude himself; Hannibal was simply biding his time, waiting for them to let their guards down.

He wasn't going to just fade away, not now that he had made one attempt on Will. It would happen again; Sherlock was sure of it.

Hannibal wasn't the kind of man to give up easily.

If he was, then he wouldn't have worked so assiduously to frame Will for the crimes he himself had committed -- and he wouldn't have looked at Sherlock with such hatred in his eyes in the one instance when they'd met.

That look in Hannibal's eyes had sent a shiver down Sherlock's spine, and he still didn't like to think of it and what it could mean for Will.

He didn't doubt that Hannibal looked at Will's decision to move to London as some sort of betrayal, and that he would attempt to exact revenge for it. That thought had been in his mind all along, ever since they'd come here.

But he had wanted to get Will out of Wolf Trap, to feel that he was safely out of any sort of immediate danger.

Sherlock sighed softly, admitting to himself that taking away from the area of Hannibal's direct sphere of influence might not have helped as much as he'd thought it would. He had only made it a bit more difficult for Hannibal to get to Will.

Obviously, the bastard had no problem following them to London.

Even though he hadn't seen Hannibal's face in London, even though they hadn't run into each other, Sherlock was sure that he was here.

Hannibal obviously wanted Will, considered the young man to be his. And with someone whose personality obviously ran to the psychotic, a belief like that could be fatal for the person they set their sights upon.

Sherlock had experience in that sphere; he'd dealt with Moriarty. He knew what it was like to be the target of a psychopath's obsession.

He didn't want Will to be that kind of a target.

Hannibal terrified him in some ways; he'd never had to deal with anyone like this before. But at the same time, the situation was a challenge.

The horrible thing about it was that Will was caught in the middle, and that was the part of all this that made Sherlock the most apprehensive.

He had to protect Will, keep him safe. Even though his boyfriend was a former FBI agent and knew how to take care of himself in dangerous situations, Sherlock still felt that it was his duty to ensure the safety of the man he loved.

But how was he to do that, when he had no idea just where Hannibal might be, how and when he might decide to strike next?

That was what worried him most -- that Hannibal would strike out at Will again, this time with more deadly force, when Will was most vulnerable.

The thought made him shudder; the very idea of Will being harmed made him feel as if ice water was rushing through his veins rather than warm blood. Will being hurt in any way was not an option. He wouldn't let it happen.

As he turned the corner to head towards Baker Street, Sherlock scanned the faces of the people in the crowd -- then blinked.

Once, then twice. He shook his head, hardly believing what he thought he was seeing. Could it possibly be a mistake? Was this real?

He was sure that he'd seen Hannibal Lecter in the crowd.

No, he told himself, turning around and scanning the backs of the people walking in the other direction. He couldn't have seen Hannibal. He was wrong.

He began to make his way in the opposite direction, pushing past people, then quickly running across the street to the other side. He had to catch up with that rapidly retreating figure, had to know if it was Hannibal.

The coffee carrier fell from his nerveless fingers as he pushed through the crowd, his gaze frantically searching for the man he thought he'd seen.

Dodging through the crowd, he tried to keep up with the man's pace.

One step .... then another .... then he could finally turn the man around with a hand on his shoulder and look into his face. He was sure that he would see those malevolent dark depths, see the hatred for him welling in them.

But instead, he was looking into the face of a complete stranger, a man he had never seen before. It wasn't Hannibal.

Sherlock mumbled an apology, snatching his hand away from the man's shoulder as if he'd been burned. He felt disoriented, dazed; he had been so sure that the face he had seen in the crowd was Hannibal.

Had he been wrong? Had he been thinking about the other man to the point where he'd seen something that wasn't there, merely a momentary illusion?

Or had he actually seen Hannibal walking down the street, and the other man had been aware of his scrutiny and had cleverly avoided him? He had no way of knowing; if that had indeed been Hannibal, he was long gone now.

Sherlock turned back towards Baker Street, feeling frustrated.

He shoved his hands into his pockets as he trudged along, unsure of just what he should do, finally making a decision as he approached the café.

He would go by the café to replace the coffees he'd dropped; then head home to Will. He wasn't sure yet if he would tell his boyfriend what he thought he'd seen; there was no need to upset Will with suppositions.

And if it turned out that he hadn't seen Hannibal, then it was better to keep that mistake to himself.

Sherlock sighed softly, closing his eyes for a moment as he tried to bring that face in the crowd back into his mind. Had it been Hannibal? Or was his mind just conjuring up images of what he thought he should see?

He genuinely hoped that it was the latter.