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Title: In His Own Skin
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "An Honest Answer."
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 had never felt so uncomfortable before.

It was as though his body had become suddenly awkward, as though he didn't fit into it properly any more. Everything seemed to be out of focus, not fitting together.

He was uncomfortable in his own skin. It felt as if the world was moving in slow motion, and he couldn't quite catch up; every time he reached out, his goal was taken away from him, and he was moving in fits and starts, trying desperately to find the right groove.

No one had ever made him feel this way before. No one could but Hannibal. No one else had this kind of power over him.

He didn't have a problem dealing with other people because he didn't feel anything for them that was even remotely comparable to what he felt for Hannibal. Nobody else got under his skin in the way that this man did. He didn't let them.

Everyone else in his life was on the outside, merely standing around the periphery. Hannibal was at the very center of his life, right in the middle.

He didn't want anyone else in the way that he wanted Hannibal.

Could Hannibal sense how he felt? Did he realize how uncomfortable and awkward Will was feeling at this moment, as though his own skin didn't fit?

Hannibal finally set down his plate, then picked up his wineglass, swirling the liquid around in it before he spoke. "Will, you seem uncomfortable," he said softly, raising his gaze to look into the young man's eyes. "I would think that you've grown past feeling that way."

Will swallowed hard, opening his mouth to answer, but no words came out. He didn't know how to explain exactly what he was feeling.

How could he tell Hannibal how he felt, when he wasn't entirely sure of what it was himself? Was it desire, or was it simply that this man intrigued him more than anyone else ever had, and he wanted to find out just what made Hannibal tick?

He shifted uncomfortably, looking away from that penetrating gaze. "I just .... didn't expect this," he finally said, hearing his voice shake slightly when he spoke.

Dammit, he sounded so uncertain. Like a scared little kid.

He didn't want that. He wanted to sound clear and confident, but that was impossible, given the way that he felt at the moment.

"Will." Hannibal's voice was very soft, almost soothing. "You don't have to feel that way with me. I am not here to make you tense or nervous."

Then why are you here? Will thought, but didn't say the words aloud. He still hadn't been able to figure out just what Hannibal wanted; that the other man had some sort of agenda, he didn't doubt, but he had absolutely no clue as to what it could be.

"I came here today because I was hoping to further the personal relationship that I believe is beginning to grow between us," Hannibal said, staring into Will's eyes.

Will's breath caught in his throat; he could feel his eyes widening in disbelief, and he knew that Hannibal could easily see how disconcerted he was by those words.

He hadn't realized that Hannibal considered them to be developing a relationship. It was what he had hoped for, but he'd had no idea that Hannibal was also thinking along those lines. He hadn't thought that this man could ever personally care for him.

He'd thought they would never be anything other than friends, and that Hannibal would continue to be his psychiatrist, albeit unofficially.

Now, it seemed that their relationship was taking a major turn -- one that he had hoped for, but hadn't dared to hope could ever possibly happen.

What was he supposed to do when it seemed that his dreams were coming true?

Will felt as though he was caught up in some kind of snare, one that was closing rapidly around him, and pulling him closer to Hannibal.

He didn't want to fight it. He wanted to be closer to Hannibal, didn't he? This was what he'd been hoping for, wishing for, even praying for. There was no reason to let it make him feel uncomfortable, no reason to fight against the inevitable.

He shouldn't feel as though his own skin was growing too tight, as though he wanted to leap out of his own body because it wasn't where he felt that he belonged.

He couldn't take his gaze from Hannibal; it was as though the other man mesmerized him, hypnotized him, held not only his gaze, but his thoughts. He couldn't have moved away even if he had wanted to; he was rooted to the spot, his limbs petrified.

And Hannibal was leaning closer to him, his lips parted, his dark eyes locked with Will's; that gaze was drawing him closer, pulling him in, fixating him ....

It was then that he realized they were moving closer to each other.

Slowly, inexorably, Hannibal had moved nearer to him, and was even now raising a hand to brush Will's hair out of his eyes, those fingers lingering on his cheek.

Will felt as though he was going to jump out of his own body; once again, he felt uncomfortable in his own skin, unable to reconcile how fast everything was suddenly moving. Only moments ago, it had all seemed to be in slow motion -- now, time was moving blindingly quickly.

He couldn't pull away, couldn't move back. It was as though Hannibal's touch paralyzed him; there was no way he could draw back from what was happening.

Hannibal was going to kiss him. The thought flashed across his consciousness, making a soft gasp come involuntarily from his lips; it seemed unbelievable, yet it was what he wanted, more than anything. It was what he'd dreamed of for so long.

Would it happen? Will held his breath as Hannibal leaned closer, their gazes locked, until his own eyelids slipped closed and he raised his face to the other man's.

He let his lips part, waiting for that kiss with bated breath.