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Title: Recaptured Innocence
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: 34, Innocence
Author's Note: Sequel to "Quest For the Truth."
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.
***Hannibal had taken his innocence, along with his memories. It was a part of himself that he had cherished, a part that he felt he would mourn forever.
He had once felt that people were intrinsically good, that most humans could fight their darker urges and come out on the bright side.
No longer, Will told himself, shaking his head as he leaned back on the couch and stared up at the ceiling. He couldn't see the good side of human nature any more. He knew that it was there, of course, but it as though Hannibal's evil had completely obliterated it.
His own dark side called to him at times, but he recoiled from it. He avoided even thinking about it most of the time, but it came to him in dreams, beckoning seductively.
Was that what had happened to Hannibal, to make him what he was?
He didn't know, and he didn't particularly care. It was enough for him to know that Hannibal was evil. He didn't have to know the reasons why.
Still, it was an intriguing thought. Hannibal had probably once been a lot like him; he'd had an innocence that had been ripped away from him. Will didn't want to know how that had happened -- or what could have been done to create such a hideous monster.
He was sure that it had something to do with the death of the sister that Hannibal had mentioned, but he wasn't going to ask. He didn't need to dig up the past.
Was that why Hannibal had taken pieces of his memory? Did he, in his warped, twisted, pathetic excuse for a mind, see that as a kindness, a mercy?
His own memories were probably so horrible that he couldn't understand how anyone could find memories comforting, especially memories that were painful ones. Had he thought that he was doing Will some kind of a favor by removing them, blacking them out into nothingness?
Will shook his head, scowling. Of course that wasn't why he had done it. Hannibal had destroyed most of those memories to save himself, not to help Will.
If Will couldn't remember, then he couldn't tell.
And that had been Hannibal's intent all along, Will thought, clenching his teeth. To frame someone else for his crimes, and to save his own skin.
Will felt that his innocence was buried along with those memories; it had been consigned to a dark grave, pushed away from him and hidden. But if he could recover his memories, perhaps he could find some bit of that innocent belief in the human race that he thought was lost.
Maybe his innocence wasn't irretrievably gone for good. Maybe, if he was lucky, he would be able to find at least a part of it again, and recover something of what he had been.
It wouldn't be easy, but nothing was going to stop him from trying. And once he recaptured that innocence, no one take it away from him again.
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