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Title: I Will Believe
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #525, Fairy tale
Author's Note: Sequel to "Ever Lonely."
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. soar


Will sighed softly, leaning back on the couch in his living room and resting his head against the soft cushions. He had a lot to think about; it felt as though there were a million emotions swirling around in his head, none of them coherent.

Hannibal loved him. Hannibal loved him. His feelings were returned.

Then why did he feel so conflicted?

It had taken him so long to work up the courage to ask Hannibal how felt; now that he had, and he'd received the answer he wanted to hear, he should be happy. He should be ecstatic, bouncing off the ceiling with joy. Instead, he felt cautious, even a little paranoid.

Was this real? Or was it some kind of fairy tale that would disappear and melt away into nothingness if he examined it too closely?

It was just so hard to believe that Hannibal could actually care for him as more than just a friend. They'd been friends for what felt like eternity, even though it had actually only been a few short months. Will still couldn't process the fact that their relationship had taken a jump ahead.

A huge jump. One that he hadn't really expected.

Truth be told, he had been sure that Hannibal was going to let him down easy, to tell him that though he cared about him as a friend and colleague, and would continue seeing him as a patient, he had no feelings for him beyond that.

It had shocked Will profoundly to hear that Hannibal actually loved him. He was surprised that he hadn't sat there with his mouth hanging open, staring into space.

Or maybe he had. He wasn't sure jut how he had reacted. But Hannibal hadn't seemed disgusted with him, so he probably hadn't made an utter fool of himself -- though he could vaguely remember feeling as though he might pass out.

He still felt that way. He felt .... well, shell-shocked.

This was so much more than his mind could grasp. Being loved by the person he desired wasn't a feeling that he was used to; he was used to expecting rejection, and receiving it. This had been an unprecedented victory in his life.

But it still felt like a fairy tale, something insubstantial that could fade away at any moment. Will expected to be brought back down to earth at any moment, to feel that bubble of happiness bursting around him and disintegrating into nothingness.

It was inconceivable that a man like Hannibal could love him. There was nothing really special about him, nothing that would draw Hannibal in his direction

Nothing but his empathy.

Was that why Hannibal was interested in him? Was it because of his gift, and nothing else? Will wanted to curse that gift most of the time; it seemed more like a curse, especially when Jack had him using it on a daily basis.

It wasn't something that he enjoyed using, or wanted to embrace. It was something dark and dangerous, something that ate away at his soul a little at a time.

Jack seemed to think that was all he was good for -- using that so-called "gift" until he was ready to faint from exhaustion. He'd learned long ago that Jack cared about nothing but his empathic ability; he didn't care what kind of effect using it constantly would have on Will.

Hannibal cared. Hannibal didn't want to see that ability overpower him.

Hannibal didn't want to see his empathy swallow him whole, devour him alive from the inside out. Hannibal didn't want to see him get hurt. He had just never realized that Hannibal's concern for him was something that could blossom into deeper feelings.

Could their relationship actually work out? Or was he fooling himself? He didn't want to believe that, he wanted to think that they could work well together.

But it was still hard to wrap his mind around the fact that Hannibal actually wanted to be with him. This all still seemed like some kind of wonderful fairy tale, where Hannibal was the handsome prince who swept him up onto a white horse and carried hm away.

Only he was a pretty far cry from a sweet, demure princess.

Will had to laugh at that idea; anything further from a fairy princess, he couldn't imagine himself to be. He wasn't the kind of person a handsome prince should fall for; in fact, he was the furthest thing from a prince's consort that anyone could imagine.

Yet somehow, Hannibal had apparently fallen for him. The fairy tale had come true -- and he really couldn't he happier about that.

All right, so maybe they wouldn't have the easiest time of it. Maybe they would have to work harder at their relationship than most people did, because the two of them could be so different. Maybe there would be things that they never managed to agree on.

But neither of them would be alone any more.

They would both have someone to lean on now, someone who loved them. Neither of them would have to face any more lonely nights. They would have each other.

That was what he wanted, more than anything else; to be in Hannibal's arms, to have the man he loved by his side. How could this be happening? How could he trust all that was happening around him, believe that it was true and it wouldn't all fall apart?

He had to believe it. Will sighed, opening his eyes and staring up at the ceiling. He couldn't be too timid to reach out for what he wanted. That wasn't going to get him anywhere. He had to hold on to this with all his might, believe it wasn't just a fairy tale, just a dream.

He had to believe. Because if he didn't then it would all vanish.

if he didn't believe that this wasn't just a fairy tale, a figment of his imagination, then it would all fade away. He would let it go, turn his back on it.

He wouldn't do that. He would believe.

His cell phone rang; leaning forward to pick it up, Will smiled. It was Hannibal; he knew that number. It would be good to talk with Hannibal -- and if anything could convince him that this was real and not some fairy tale, it would be hearing the voice of the man he loved.