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Title: Not What We Seem
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Quotables Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: "Very few of us are what we seem." -- Agatha Christie
Author's Note: Sequel to "A Few Quiet Days."
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.
***"I didn't think you'd really like being out here," Will told Hannibal as the two of them sat side by side on the front steps of his house, watching the sun go down. "You just don't seem like the kind of person who would have an affinity for the country."
"I would not have thought that you would enjoy living here, either," Hannibal told him, raising his brows. "Never judge a person solely by first impressions, Will."
"I wasn't judging by first impressions," Will protested, shaking his head. "I was going by the things I've found out about you since we got to know each other."
"Since we've become lovers, you mean?" Hannibal laughed softly, shaking his head. "Don't presume that you know me as well as you think you do, Will. Very few of us are what we seem, and I doubt that you could ever know me completely."
Will was silent for a while, digesting his lover's words.
"That's pretty much true of everybody, isn't it?" he finally asked. "We never know anybody completely, not even ourselves. There's always something new to discover, even when you think you know a person inside out. That's what makes relationships so complicated."
Hannibal nodded, glancing over at his young lover. "You, for example, are a mass of contradictions. I doubt that I will ever know you as well as I would like to."
Will laughed at that, a little uneasily. "You know me better than anybody else ever has," he pointed out. "You're the only person I've ever trusted enough to get close to."
"Ever since we first met, I've noticed that you don't let yourself trust others," Hannibal said, his tone almost conversational. "I know that we aren't having any actual sessions while we're here, but if you'd like to talk about that, I am always ready to listen."
Will nodded, wondering if talking about his issues would be a good thing.
Why not? he asked himself. There was no reason not to. After all, he and Hannibal weren't just on the level of doctor and patient. They had passed that quite a while ago, when they'd become lovers. Though he wasn't sure that was the word he would use.
There were times when Hannibal seemed less of his lover and more of a .... master. He hated to use that word, but it was the only one that fit.
He didn't ask how high when Hannibal told him to jump; he didn't snap to attention when Hannibal barked an order. That wasn't the kind of relationship they had. But he was still attentive to Hannibal's desires; he tried not to do anything that would let his lover down.
He obeyed. And Hannibal was the one in charge, in control.
Their relationship might look odd to others, but it felt comfortable to him. He was in control of himself, of his feelings, his needs, at every other point in his life. Only with Hannibal could he let go of that control, let someone else take over for him.
It hadn't been easy to do that at first, but now it felt like second nature. He didn't know why, but being able to relinquish that control was a huge relief.
No, he wasn't at all what he seemed, just as Hannibal had said. To everyone else, he probably looked like someone who was always in control, someone who was calm and quiet and collected. They didn't know what it was like to be him, to deal with all of the pressures he faced.
He would never let anyone but Hannibal see what it was like.
Hannibal was so right; very few people he'd ever met were what they seemed once he got to know them better. Which was one reason that he never really went out of his way to get to know anyone better, Will thought with a grimace.
The man sitting here beside him was the only person he'd really wanted to get to know for a long time. And he knew Hannibal better than anyone else did.
At least, he thought so. Hannibal certainly knew him better than any person ever had, both mentally and physically. Especially physically.
The thought brought a blush to Will's cheeks. He'd never let anyone else know him physically. He hadn't really saved himself for the right person; he had just never met anyone that he wanted to give himself to fully, his body as well as his trust, before Hannibal had come into his life.
He had never regretted that decision. And he never would.
"I do enjoy being here, Will," Hannibal said softly, his voice bringing Will out of his thoughts and back into the present moment. "But I believe that's more due to the company than to any liking I might have for, shall we say, exploring the pleasures of nature."
"I'm glad you do," Will answered, his voice very soft. "Because I enjoy having you here. You can think of this as another home."
"And you can think of my house in Baltimore as your second home," Hannibal told him with a smile. "You certainly spend enough of your time there."
Will could only smile at that, knowing that Hannibal's words were true. Yet he had never thought that his lover would want him to consider that house as a home. Indeed, people weren't always what they seemed -- especially this enigmatic man sitting here beside him.
He wondered just what else he would discover about Hannibal before this vacation was over.
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