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Title: Never Be Like You
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #550, Lock/Locked
Author's Note: Sequel to "Two Points For Honesty."
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.
***Will's gaze locked with Hannibal's, neither of them backing down or looking away.
Will wanted answers, and Hannibal was determined not to give them. They were locked in an impasse, and there was no telling which one of them would win.
How could he ever have thought this monster was his friend? Will asked himself. He could see no spark of kindness or compassion in those dead eyes that gazed into his; all he could see that deceit, something that he should have recognized long ago.
But he had been lulled into believing the fiction of their so-called friendship; he had become complacent and hadn't kept his guard up.
It was really his own fault that Hannibal had been able to get behind his barriers and cause him so much harm. But that would never happen again, Will told himself firmly. This time, he knew what Hannibal was, and he would protect himself.
And now, Hannibal was behind bars, where he belonged. He couldn't do any harm to anyone any more. He could try, but his poison had been neutralized.
Or had it? Will had to wonder about that.
Even though Hannibal was locked away now, and would never be a free man again, he could still manage to poison people's minds with his insidious lies.
He would never stop spreading that poison. Hannibal was a born liar; he was a psychopath, and Will didn't believe for one second that he could ever be rehabilitated or change his ways. He was happy wallowing in his evil, as disgusting as it was.
That evil was never going to lessen or fade. Will was sure of that. Hannibal would be a monster for all of his life; he'd never been anything else.
But as long as he was here, locked up, the world was safe.
No, that wasn't really true, Will thought with an inward sigh.There would always be more monsters. Hannibal wasn't the only one.
And he could easily spread his poison into the outside world, if Chilton was stupid enough to allow him any kind of contact with anyone out there. Will didn't think Chilton was that unwary, but he wasn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed these days.
He'd never thought much of Chilton's intelligence, but if the man actually let Hannibal talk to anyone who could move freely in the world, he was crazy.
"You're looking for answers from me, Will." Hannibal's voice broke into his thoughts. "But you should know that you won't get them unless you give me something."
"I'm not going to help you get out of here, or help with any kind of defense," Will told him, his voice flat and uncompromising. "You're right where you belong, and we both know it. You don't deserve to be out in the world, spreading your poison and hurting people."
"That kind of attitude isn't going to help you find the answers you seek, and it certainly won't talk me into giving them to you," Hannibal said reprovingly, shaking his head.
But at this point, Will wasn't sure he cared.
"I'll find those answers, sooner or later," he shot back, his patience gone. "You can hold them back if you want, but my mind will give them to me at some point."
Hannibal nodded, acquiescing that Will's words might be the truth. "Yes, that might happen," he conceded. "But how are you to know if what your mind tells you is the truth of what happened? Your memory is no longer the reliable instrument it once was, Will."
"Because of you." Will's voice was low and venomous, full of the hatred he felt. "Because of everything you did to me. You ruined me."
"I remade you," Hannibal corrected.
"Again, why?" Will asked, his gaze still locked with the other man's. "Why would you feel like you had to change me? Did you want me to become like you?"
"Yes," Hannibal said simply, smiling and nodding, as though he was pleased that Will had finally guessed his intentions. "I wanted to make you more than what you were. To let you grasp the full implications of what you could have been, if you had let things continue."
"You wanted to make me a killer," Will whispered. "A conscienceless murderer, just like you are. You wanted me to mirror your own evil."
"Not evil, Will." Now Hannibal shook his head, frowning. "Not evil as I see it. I simply wanted you to be a reflection of what I myself am, a mirror of my own darkness. I wanted you to realise that such darkness lies within you, and for you to embrace it."
"I would never be like you," Will said, his voice very soft. "I'm a decent human being. I'm not a monster. I'm not a killer."
"But you could have been," Hannibal told him. "If I'd had more time."
"You'd never have succeeded," Will shot back, his voice growing louder now. "You might have made me believe that I was a killer, but I'd never be what you are."
He knew the truth of that in his soul, knew that he would never be a remorseless murderer as Hannibal was. He might have been induced to believe that he could kill, that he had killed, but he would never believe that he could be a monster on Hannibal's level.
No, the monster was locked away, where it should be, behind bars for the rest of its life. And the innocent man had been set free.
That knowledge brought him satisfaction, and brought a smile to his face.
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