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Title: Love and Trust
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Quotables Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: "To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved." -- George MacDonald
Author's Note: Sequel to "Not What We Seem."
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.


"It's good to feel that you trust me enough to invite me into your home while you're on vacation, Will." Hannibal's voice was quiet, matter-of-fact. "There are times when I wonder if you've given me your complete trust, but this tells me that you have."

"Of course I have." Will looked up at his lover, surprised by Hannibal's words. "Why wouldn't I trust you? I've got no reason not to."

In fact, Hannibal was the one person in his life who he did completely trust, he mused silently. There was no one else who had ever managed to gain his trust; even Jack hadn't done that. Will still doubted his motives and felt distanced from him.

He supposed that was normal, in a way; after all, Jack was his boss. They didn't need to have any kind of close personal relationship.

With Hannibal, it was completely different. Hannibal was his lover, the man he'd give his heart to. And he knew that it was impossible to love where he didn't trust. If he couldn't say that he trusted Hannibal in every way, utterly and completely, then he wasn't really in love.

He did love Hannibal. He had no doubts about that.

Trust was so much harder than love, Will thought to himself, glancing over at Hannibal. It wasn't that he didn't trust this man; he did, in some ways. In all of the ways that mattered .But he wasn't sure that he'd given his complete trust. Not yet.

As much as he loved Hannibal, trust was something that he'd always struggled with. Will wasn't sure that he'd ever trusted anyone in his entire life.

Those trust issues had put up a lot of barriers between him and the rest of the world, but for the most part, Will liked it that way. No one could scale those walls, or get behind them; no one could see inside his head, or inside his soul.

No one could get to him. He was safe behind those walls, and he could keep himself protected. His fears were locked outside, kept at bay.

Until Hannibal had burst into his life and systematically begun to make those walls crumble to the ground. He'd never known anyone like Hannibal, anyone who could get inside his mind and make his body feel as though he was on fire for their touch.

Hannibal had disarmed him in every possible way.

He had given this man his body and his heart. So why was it so hard to let go of those last vestiges of fear, and trust Hannibal implicitly?

Will didn't know why, but there was still a part of him that was a bit suspicious of Hannibal. There wasn't anything to be suspicious of, not that he could see, but some sixth sense, some third eye, told him that his lover wasn't all that he seemed to be.

He didn't know why that little voice was there, or why he listened to it. But all the same, it kept him from giving Hannibal his complete trust.

He wanted to. He wanted to trust Hannibal in every way, wanted to abandon his fears and let himself trust the man he loved. But he couldn't.

And why not? Will asked himself. If it was just because of that stupid voice that was always popping up in his mind, screaming at him that trust wasn't simply something given, it had to be earned, then he really should ignore the voice.

Though something told him that would be a mistake. That voice had always protected him; he shouldn't just push it aside because it said something he didn't want to hear.

"I don't believe that you trust me fully, Will. In fact, I know you don't."

Hannibal's voice startled Will out of his thoughts; he opened his mouth to deny the accusation, then closed it again. How did Hannibal know that he hadn't been able to fully give his trust? The man must be able to read his mind, or maybe Hannibal just knew him too well.

"I don't blame you for that," Hannibal continued, his gaze focused on Will as he spoke. "But I hope that you will be able to trust me someday."

"I want to trust you," Will murmured, feeling ashamed that he even had to say the words, to qualify his feelings. "There's no reason for me not to. I guess I just have more severe trust issues than I thought I did. It's not that I don't love you, Hannibal."

"I am fully aware of your feelings for me, Will," Hannibal said, his voice very soft. "I know that you love me. But you do realize that trust goes hand in hand with love."

Will nodded, swallowing hard. "Yeah, I do," he managed to say. "It's just .... it was so easy to fall in love with you, Hannibal. You give me so much that I've always wanted, and that I never thought I would have. But trust comes harder for me."

The other man nodded, reaching out to take Will's hand.

"Being trusted is an even greater compliment than being loved," he said softly, twining his fingers through Will's. "I know that I have your love, Will, and that means a great deal to me. More than I can say. Though I hope someday to have your trust as well."

"I'm trying," Will whispered, feeling tears rise and hoping that he could keep them back. "I am, Hannibal. I want to trust you. I just have some .... issues to work through."

Hannibal smiled at him, squeezing his hand gently. "I know you do, my sweet. And I am more than willing to wait for you to work with those issues. I hope you'll let me help you with them. I am, after all, your psychiatrist as well as your lover."

Will couldn't help but smile at that. "Yeah, you are, in a way. So I guess that makes you the one person uniquely qualified to help me with all my issues."

"Perhaps this weekend is a good time to start," Hannibal murmured, leaning forward to slide his free arm around Will's waist and pull him close. When their lips met, Will was spared having to answer; but he had the definite feeling that tomorrow, they would be having a session.