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Title: Into Thin Air
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "The Game Has Begun."
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.


He should have known that letter wouldn't be of any help.

Will sighed as he plowed a hand through his hair, frowning. Hannibal and Bedelia seemed to have vanished into this air, leaving no trace behind.

Of course, the city that they'd postmarked the letter from -- in Switzerland -- was far too large to be accurately checked for signs of the two of them. They could have been anywhere; even asking about a couple who resembled them, or showing pictures, wouldn't do much good.

Still, they'd done what they could. They had searched for the missing couple, but there hadn't been a single trace of them. They'd pulled a vanishing act.

There was no telling where those two could be now, Will thought. Privately, he wondered just how long Bedelia would be with Hannibal. After all, Hannibal was a serial killer, and to the best of Will's knowledge, he had always worked alone.

He seriously doubted that Hannibal would let Bedelia have any of what he probably considered his "glory." After a while, she would more than likely disappear for good.

And then they would be looking for another body, as well.

No, he doubted that Hannibal would leave anything of her body to be found, WIll thought with a shudder. It wasn't his style, not when he wanted to completely rid himself of someone.

He didn't want to think about what Hannibal would do with the body. Everything in him shrank from thinking about that kind of atrocity; he didn't want to remember how close he had probably come to eating people in the past, at any of Hannibal's little dinner parties.

Will couldn't help but wonder if he actually had done something so horrendous; just the thought almost made him feel as though he had to throw up.

With difficulty, he held the feeling back, taking a few deep breaths until the urge to do so passed. He didn't want to think about things like that; it only made him feel unsettled, as though everything around him was spinning out of his control.

When he'd been "friends" with Hannibal, his life had been out of his control -- and he'd been stupid enough to think that Hannibal could help with that.

He hadn't realized at the time that Hannibal was the one causing that chaos.

Just the idea that he and Hannibal had ever been friends, even uneasy ones, almost made him laugh now. There had been no friendship -- just one person using another.

Will had no doubt that Hannibal had never felt anything even approaching real friendship or affection for him. He was a serial killer; he wasn't capable of that kind of emotion. Will didn't think that a monster like the one he's known could feel any real emotion at all.

Oh, he was good at faking it. He was good at making people think he had their best interests at heart, that he was a kind, caring human being.

But Will knew better than most that Hannibal merely wore a human mask, one that went far towards hiding what he really was under that facade.

And when that mask was torn away, there was nothing there but a horrific monster, one that Will had dared to go up against -- and lost. But he wouldn't lose the next time they confronted each other, Will vowed to himself. The next time, he would be prepared.

That first time their wills had clashed, Will had underestimated his enemy. He'd learned his lesson on that front; he'd never put anything past Hannibal again.

He had looked evil directly in the face. He had confronted it, and survived.

Now that evil seemed to have vanished into this air, leaving not a clue as to its whereabouts. Will knew from experience that it wouldn't be easy to unearth that evil now.

Once a killer had gone to ground, finding them was nearly impossible, especially when they were as smart as Hannibal. He had become adept at not leaving any clues behind -- he only left the clues that he wanted to be found.

Will knew that the FBI had their work cut out for them. Tracking Hannibal down, even with that letter he had sent to Will as a first clue, might not even be possible.

Would he send more letters? Will hoped so; at the moment, that seemed to be the only hope they had of tracking him in any way. Will hoped that Hannibal would be lulled into a false security, and that he would, at some point, get careless and sloppy.

Or maybe, just maybe, he would feel that he had to see Will again -- and he would make the fatal mistake of coming back to Baltimore, or even Wolf Trap.

As much as Will feared that confrontation, he desired it, too.

He needed that closure. He needed to be able to look Hannibal in the eye again, knowing that this time, he was prepared for anything that monster could do.

He needed to know that he could prevail, that Hannibal wasn't going to be able to surprise him again. That last encounter had been one that he hadn't been ready for, as much as he'd thought he was. This time, he wouldn't let anything hold him back, or take him by surprise.

But that final confrontation seemed very far away now, as he didn't even know where Hannibal was, or if the other man was going to show up again.

Will rubbed a hand over his eyes, sighing in frustration. He didn't want to have to sit back and wait for his enemy to make the next move, but that seemed to be the only choice he had. He would simply have to be patient, and wait for Hannibal to come to him.

Which made him more or less a sitting duck. He couldn't help wondering if, even now, Hannibal might be keeping an eye on him, even when he had seemingly disappeared.

The thought sent a cold shiver of apprehension down his spine.