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Title: Innocence Lost
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: 34, Innocence
Author's Note: Sequel to "On the Side of the Angels."
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.
"I feel like he took my innocence, Jack."
Will sighed and looked down, feeling silly as soon as he'd said the words. Innocence? Did he even have any of that commodity left for anyone to take?
"I mean, I'm not innocent in most ways," he said hastily, trying to correct any wrong impression that Jack might have been given by his words. "But I always had this belief in people, even after all I'd see, that most of the human race was intrinsically good."
He stared out of the window, down at the busy parking lot in front of the hospital, feeling suddenly more bereft than he had since he'd first woken up here.
He had lost so much, in such a short time.
"And now, you feel that you can't see anything other than the dark side of human nature," Jack finished for him, nodding. "I can understand that. I feel the same way."
Will turned around to look back at the other man, not surprised at Jack's words. Of course Jack would feel that he had to see the bad side of people all the time; he'd been doing that for years, and he'd probably long since lost the ability to have faith.
No, that wasn't quite true, was it? Jack had kept faith in him, going along with his plan to trap the monster they'd both wanted so desperately to catch.
But now that he felt he'd lost his innocent outlook on the human race, was it such a good idea for Jack to trust him in the way that he was trying to?
Will didn't think so, but then, he asked himself, what did he know? His plan had gone horribly wrong; it had all blown up in his face, backfiring in the worst of ways. He would always feel guilty for the deaths of people he'd known and cared for, even though he hadn't killed them.
Those deaths could be laid directly at Hannibal's door, but Will would always feel that it was his plan that had put them in the line of fire.
He would never be able to forgive himself for that. Never.
His innocence, that belief that he'd had in human beings, was irretrievably lost. He would never be able to get it back, thanks to Hannibal.
Just like he would never be able to get back the people he had lost, the lives that Hannibal had taken. That monster had destroyed so much; now Will's guiding purpose in life was to destroy him, to put him behind bars and take away his freedom.
Will knew all too well how that felt -- and how Hannibal would suffer from being locked in a cage. It was the fitting punishment for all of his crimes.
But even making the punishment fit the crimes wouldn't bring his lost innocence back.
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