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Title: No Easy Answers
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #261, Sorry
Author's Note: Sequel to "Rookie Mistake."
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 stood facing Will, gazing into those intensely blue eyes for long moments.
Then Hannibal reached out to grab Will's arm, eliciting a soft cry from the young man. He refused to take heed of that cry; he needed Will to listen to him.
"Will, I'm sorry you had to find out this way," he said softly, his grip tightening on Will's arm. "I hadn't intended to just blurt it out. I'd wanted to tell you when were more comfortable, but I couldn't keep it in any longer. You needed to know."
Will tried to wrench his arm free, but Hannibal was much stronger than he was. There was no way he would have the chance to run away again.
"So what are you going to do now, Hannibal? Kill me, so I can't tell anybody else your dirty little secret?" Will's voice was scornful, but Hannibal could hear the fear under the words. "That's really all you can do, isn't it? How am I going to die?"
Hannibal shook his head as he pulled Will close against him, the young man's back against his chest, and buried his face in Will's soft dark curls.
"I could never harm you," he whispered. "Never. Not you, Will."
It was true. He could never do anything to harm Will. Not the love of his life, not the young man who he wanted to give up his .... unusual pursuits for. He had made up his mind; he was no longer going to live the life he'd led for so long.
He had no need of that life any more, not now that he had Will. He could be like other people now. He didn't have to kill. He could let himself love.
"Will, I have no intention of harming you," he murmured into the young man's ear. Will wasn't squirming or struggling in his arms, but Hannibal wasn't fooling himself that it mean Will wouldn't try to suddenly break free of him and run again.
"Yeah? Then why did you even tell me?" Will's voice was almost a cry of pain,and it broke Hannibal's heart to hear it. "I didn't need to know."
"Yes, you did," Hannibal said with a resigned sigh. "I don't want to keep living the way that I have been, Will. I want to give it up. I want us to be together, to be with you for a lifetime. I no longer want the sort of life I've had. I don't want to hid anything from you any longer."
The silence all around them was almost deafening.
"Then don't," Will finally said, standing stock-still in Hannibal's grip. "Tell me why you've done what you have. Try to make me understand."
"I wish I could," Hannibal said with a soft sigh. "All I can do is assure you that I have stopped, and that it won't continue. I don't need that in my life now, Will. Now that I have you, now that I have love in my life, the killing no longer fills a void."
"Is that what murdering all those people did for you? Fill a void?" Will sounded curious now, along with the anger. "Is that all you have to say about it?"
"That's all I can say," Hannibal told him, sighing again. "It's just .... always been a part of me, Will. I don't know how to explain it fully to you. I don't think I can."
How could he tell Will that he wasn't like other men, that he had always felt he was merely wearing a human mask that covered something less than human, rather than actually being a part of the human race? If he said that, he would only terrify Will further.
"I'm sorry for all that I've done, Will," he murmured, shaking his head. "I'll always regret it. But I can't go to prison for it. I can't lose my freedom. And I hope that you won't let me."
There. That was really all he could say. He'd done what he could.
Will was still standing motionless in his arms, but Hannibal didn't dare let him go just yet. He was sure that if he showed any signs of loosening his grip on Will, the young man would bolt, and then he would have to chase him down again.
He wasn't going to hurt Will, but neither was he going to let his young lover turn him into the authorities. He had to extract a promise from Will that it wouldn't happen.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, Will spoke, his voice soft and subdued. "You know I can't turn you in," he whispered, the words sounding broken and defeated. "I love you too much. I don't want to see you behind bars, or spend the rest of my life without you."
"It might not be for the rest of your life, Will," Hannibal forced himself to say. "They could decided that I can be rehabilitated."
Of course, he knew that wasn't true, and so did Will. Once the authorities caught up with him -- if they ever did -- they would put him behind bars, and never let him go. He would spend the rest of his life in prison, locked away from his beloved Will.
He couldn't let that happen. He wouldn't. Not now, and not ever.
"I won't take that risk," Will said, his voice catching in his throat. "It doesn't matter to me what you've done, not if you promise that you'll stop."
"I do promise," Hannibal said, his voice strong and firm. "I don't intend to kill any more, Will. I don't need it. I don't want it. Not with you in my life. You've made me a stronger man. A better man. There is no need for what I used to cling to. Not any more."
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Will asked, his voice very quiet. "You should have known that you could trust me, that I wouldn't turn you in."
"I'm sorry, my love," Hannibal murmured, resting his cheek against Will's hair. "I was afraid. I didn't want to lose you, to make you run from me, and I was sure that you would. You did today. I'm only glad that you've given me the chance to explain."
Will nodded, sighing softly as he turned in the circle of Hannibal's to face his lover, gazing a him with wide blue eyes. "So .... where do we go from here? What now, Hannibal?"
Hannibal could do nothing but gaze back at him in silence. There were no easy answers.
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