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Title: No Hiding Away
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "Going Through Changes."
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 was changing. It was taking some time, but it was happening.

Hannibal glanced at the young man across the table, smiling blandly when Will gazed back at him. Those blue eyes held not a trace of guile; he looked sweet and innocent.

But Hannibal knew that Will Graham was anything but innocent. Everything that he had gone through recently had taken whatever innocence he still possessed and beaten it senseless.

Innocence corrupted, he mused. He wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing; a part of him didn't want Will to change that much. His innocence had always been something that Hannibal treasured; he didn't want this young man to lose the last vestige of something that made him unique.

Will's innocence had been one of the things that had drawn Hannibal to him. When they had first met, it seemed amazing to him that Will could still retrain so much of that innocence.

With the horrible things that he saw on an almost daily basis, Hannibal would have though that any innocence Will could have possessed at one time would have been long gone. But it wasn't.

That innocence made Will .... endearing.

There was something about the way this young man looked at the world, and the people in it, that Hannibal found fascinating. In spite of all that he saw, he hadn't given up on people.

Hannibal knew that himself had done so long ago. He no longer believed in the innate goodness of the human race, if he ever had done so. He didn't think that he had.

He, too, had seen too much -- but instead of retaining his own innocence, he had thrown it away, buried it deep, and never wanted to see it or ever refer to it again. It was better that way. His innocence was long dead, and he didn't want it back. He had no use for it.

But Will .... he was completely different. His innocence was something that Hannibal treasured, even prized. He didn't want to see it disappear as his own had.

He couldn't say just why it was so important to him that retained at least some of that innocence -- it simply was. Will shouldn't lose something that was so intrinsic to who he was.

Though, alas, Hannibal could sense that a part of that innocence had already been destroyed -- as his own hands. He regretted that, but he did have to break some eggs to make the proverbial omelet. And though more of Will's innocence would fall victim, he hoped that it wouldn't be completely obliterated.

It would be a challenge to lead Will down the path that he wanted the young man to be on, yet still make sure that he could maintain some of that innocent outlook.

Would it be possible to do that? Hannibal couldn't help smiling at the thought. It would be interesting to find out just how much of that sweet innocence Will would manage to hold on to.

"What are you smiling at?" Will asked, one eyebrow raised in question.

Hannibal took a moment to answer, his words coming slowly when he spoke. "Oh, merely thinking about our future, and how the changes that you're going through will affect you."

Will looked intrigued, then amused. "I'm only tapping into what's been inside me for a long time. That's not going to change me too much. At least, not outwardly."

"That may be true," Hannibal conceded. "I don't believe that the changes you're experiencing inwardly will show on the outside. I think that you and I will be the only people who are aware of those changes, Will. You're becoming quite good at dissembling and hiding your innermost self."

"You're wrong about that, Hannibal," Will told him, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms over his chest, fixing Hannibal with his blue gaze. "I've always been good at hiding myself."

Hannibal nodded, admitting that this was true. Will had always been very good at hiding his innermost self; his feelings had never been on outward display.

Perhaps this was a good thing. It was something that he could work with.

But only if Will gave himself over completely, and put all of his trust in him. That sort of trust wouldn't be easy to get, not from someone like Will, who was used to not trusting anyone.

Hannibal couldn't keep himself from smiling inwardly, a smile of satisfaction. It would indeed be a challenge to see if he could lead Will along the path that he was beginning to read, to mold and shape him into what he wanted the young man to become -- yet still retain some of that innocence even as his dark side emerged.

That would be an accomplishment indeed, Hannibal told himself. One that he could be proud of, both as a mentor and as a doctor. Will would be his greatest achievement.

"Yes, you have," he said, his voice very soft. "But you can't hide from me, Will."

Even as he said the words, a frisson of doubt tingled down his spine. Could Will hide from him? Could he have gotten even more skilled at keeping his secrets hidden away?

But Hannibal pushed that doubt away, not bothering to countenance it. Will could never hide from him. And by the time he had conditioned Will to his satisfaction, he would never want to hide away again. The changes that he was going through now would become a part of him that he would want to share with Hannibal.

He wanted to share those changes with Will. He wanted to embrace them right along with his protégé, to celebrate them joyously when they took place.

Oh, yes, he looked forward to those changes more than he could say.

As he gazed into Will's blue eyes, Hannibal thought that he could see something in their depths, a flash of insight that made him wonder if Will was being completely truthful with him.

Whatever was hiding away behind that limpid gaze, it would come out eventually, he told himself. Will couldn't hide from him, as he had said. Soon, they would have no secrets from each other -- and no hiding away.