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Title: Learn To Like It
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #193, Slave
Author's Note: One-shot.
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


He was becoming Hannibal's slave.

Will didn't like that idea; the thought of it made him shiver. He wanted to push the idea away, lock it into the back of his mind and never think of it again, pretend that it wasn't true. But he knew that it was, and that he couldn't ignore it any longer.

More and more, he was doing what Hannibal wanted him to do, rather than what he wanted to do. That didn't only apply to what they did in the bedroom, but in other areas of his life, as well. It was as though he was losing control over his own will.

He'd never been the sort of person who was comfortable with anyone else having control over him -- and at this point, Hannibal did.

Hannibal seemed to think that all he had to was snap his fingers, utter one word, and he would have Will exactly where he wanted him. That grated against Will's nerves; he didn't like the feeling of anyone actually expecting him to do their bidding.

It wasn't like having a job, where he was expected to do things that his boss told him to do. No, this was a curtailing of his freedom, both physical and mental. He was expected to subjugate his will to someone else's, and it wasn't easy for him.

But wasn't he doing it anyway?

That was what he hated the most, Will admitted with a soft sigh. The fact that Hannibal not only expected this from him, but that he was giving his lover exactly what he wanted. He found it impossible to resist Hannibal's wishes, even when they were orders and not requests.

Of course, Hannibal knew that he would have better luck with requests -- which was why he often put his commands in that form.

He knew exactly how to push all of Will's buttons -- and Will had to admit that he let the other man do just that. He'd been susceptible to Hannibal from the beginning; now that they were involved both physically and emotionally, he was even harder to resist.

The problem was that he didn't want this kind of one-sided relationship with Hannibal. He wanted them to be equals -- partners. He wanted Hannibal to feel the same kind of burgeoning love for him that he felt for the other man -- and he was sure that love wasn't there.

Oh, Hannibal cared for him. Will didn't doubt that for a moment. But there was a huge difference between caring for someone and being in love with them. And he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever Hannibal felt for him, it wasn't love.

It was more than lust. There was some emotion behind those shuttered eyes that he had such a hard time reading. But Will didn't think it was love.

Lvoe would shine out of those eyes, impossible to hide. No, love wasn't what Hannibal felt when he looked at Will. There was more than lust, more than desire. But Will couldn't quite put his finger on just what that hidden emotion was, and it bothered him.

He wanted to be loved. He wanted that more than anything.

Maybe he was just the sort of person that no one could really love, he told himself, hating the words even as they coalesced in his mind. He didn't want to think that about himself. But it seemed that it might be the truth, especially considering his past relationships.

No one had ever truly loved him. No one. Even his parents had always seemed to hold him at arm's length, especially after his empathic abilities had been established.

And that bitch he'd tried to kiss not so long ago? Will grimaced at the thought. Kissing her had been like kissing a cold, dead fish. It hadn't been appealing in the slightest, and he had no earthly idea why he had ever wanted to do it in the first place.

Yes, he did. He was lying to himself if he tried to say otherwise. He had wanted to take a stab at being like everyone else, at being attracted to a woman. He hadn't wanted to admit that the person he was attracted to was his very male friend and psychiatrist.

Once he had admitted that attraction, gotten it out into the open ,he'd felt better about himself. That was the key, wasn't it? Being honest and open.

That wasn't easy to do, though. It wasn't like he could tell everyone about his relationship with Hannibal. It wasn't something they could shout from the rooftops; they had to keep it under wraps, or Hannibal could be accused of having questionable ethics.

It wouldn't matter that he was with Hannibal of his own free will. All people wold see was a doctor involved with a patient -- a patient who wasn't all that stable at the best of times. They would immediately think that Hannibal had taken advantage of him.

In some ways, maybe he had done just that.

Hannibal might have taken advantage of the fact that he wanted -- needed -- to be loved. And he might have taken advantage of Will's attraction to him, using it to bind the two of them together in a way that Will knew he could never escape from.

But this was what he wanted, he told himself firmly. He wanted to be with Hannibal. He just didn't want to be seen as a slave, as a subordinate, and that was all too often how he felt these days. He wanted Hannibal to see him as .... a partner.

That was really what they were -- at least in Will's eyes. When they were together, when Hannibal made love to him, there was no master and no submissive.

There were merely two men taking pleasure from each other and giving that pleasure back. They were two people who enjoyed each other to the fullest, two people who had the same goal in mind -- their mutual satisfaction in their relationship.

That was the feeling that Will wanted to keep in their relationship, and it seemed to be all too fleeting these days. Even when Hannibal was inside him, when they were at their most intimate, he couldn't help feeling that his lover was pulling away from him.

Whenever they made love, Hannibal seemed distant. It was as though he wanted to put up barriers between them, as if he wanted to separate himself from Will. And all Will wanted to do was to bring those barriers crashing to the ground.

They were at cross purposes, and he didn't know how to fix it.

So, in at attempt to redress what seemed like an imbalance in their relationship, he let Hannibal become more and more autocratic with him. He had, in essence, become a slave to his desires -- and to Hannibal's as well. That was a slippery slope, and Will knew it.

Had their relationship ever really had a balance? Will couldn't hold back a wry smile at that. It probably hadn't. Hannibal had always been in charge.

He'd never had any control in this relationship, and when it had first started, he had liked it that way. After all of the responsibility he took at work, it felt good to hand the reins over to someone else and let them take the wheel for a while.

But now that he and Hannibal had been together for a while, he wanted more. The problem was, he didn't know how to ask for it -- and even if he did, Will told himself with a grimace, he was sure that Hannibal wasn't going to grant that request.

Hannibal's control was too precious to him. He wasn't going to let Will take any of it; he was going to hold on to it with all of his power, which was considerable. If he stayed in this relationship, Will instinctively knew that he would always be more or less a slave.

But leaving Hannibal was out of the question. The very idea made him shiver, made his heart constrict in his chest. No one else could be what Hannibal was to him; when they had finally come together, he was sure that he'd found the person he'd searched for all of his life.

No, he couldn't leave. Not if he wanted to be happy.

But was he happy? Will had to admit that he wasn't -- not in every way. Could he find a way to be happy with the role Hannibal had relegated him to in their relationship? That was something he wasn't sure of. He would have to find out by trial and error.

Despite everything in their relationship that made it feel uneven and imbalanced, Will knew that he was where he wanted to be.

He craved Hannibal like a starving man craved food, like a man dying of thirst craved clear, cool water. His lover was too much a part of him for Will to be able to sever their connection; if he did, then he would be lost at sea, with no one to save him from drowning.

He needed Hannibal to be his rock, the one that he could cling to when the world seemed to be closing in on him. Hannibal was necessary to him -- and it was necessary to Hannibal for him to be a slave. So, that meant he would bear with it, and hope that things changed.

Maybe, just maybe, he would even learn to like it.