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Title: Bridge To Nowhere
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Big Bang Inspirations, tv_universe
Prompt: Picture of abandoned bridge
Author's Note: One-shot.
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 blinked, shaking his head, then looking around. He didn't know where he was; there was nothing familiar about this stretch of the road, nothing around him that he recognized. He had no idea where he was, or how he had gotten here.

He'd lost time again.

Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes, trying to calm the fear that was threatening to crawl from his stomach into his throat, and make its way out in a scream. No, he wasn't going to panic. He'd been through this before. It wasn't the first time.

He should be used to finding himself in odd places at this point, he told himself dryly. He seemed to be doing that more and more lately, to the point where he was almost used to it.

But this didn't feel like one of those episodes when he'd lost time; he always came out of those trances feeling disoriented, as though he didn't know who he was or why he was here. This time, he felt too clearheaded and sure of his identity.

He was Will Graham, and he was .... well, he didn't know where he was. But he would find out; he'd managed to sleepwalk far from his home before. If he had done that this time, then it shouldn't take him too long to discover just where he'd ended up.

There had to be police around here somewhere. Unless he was in some forest far away from any houses, or a town, or civilization.

No, that wasn't possible. He didn't sleepwalk to that extent.

Why was he here? Had this place somehow called to him, as the forested area around his home seemed to do? Or had he somehow been led here by something outside of himself? Will shivered at the thought; he didn't like to think that he was so vulnerable.

But apparently he was, he thought as he gazed at the bridge in front of him. He didn't dare try to cross it, no matter what might be waiting for him in the woods on the other side; it was obviously going to rack and ruin, and one wrong step could mean disaster.

He'd be crazy to take a step forward; he knew that. But if he wasn't meant to cross this bridge, why was he here? Had he been heading for something on the other side, and then been stopped?

No, that didn't seem like the reason he'd been led here. He couldn't help but think that there was some reason for him to be here; this wasn't a place that he would have found by himself in a simple wandering. He hadn't just found this place by accident.

But who -- or what -- could have brought him here?

Had he been chasing the stag? No, that was a crazy idea. The stag wasn't real; it haunted his dreams, but it was just a figment of his imagination. It wasn't anything real and tangible; it was some kind of metaphor that his mind had dreamed up for something in his life.

Why would he have come here, if he hadn't been somehow led to this place? He wasn't searching for anything that he knew of; he wouldn't have come here of his own accord. But there seemed to be something significant about this bridge, something that called to him.

Why would he have searched out this place? He'd never been here before; that much he knew. There was no familiarity here, no sense of belonging.

This was simply a bridge to nowhere, a deserted place that hadn't seen any activity in years, perhaps even in decades. Why had his subconscious decided to search it out -- or rather, if his musings were correct, why had he been led here? What did this place have to show him?

"Will." The voice seemed to come out of nowhere.

His head jerked up at the sound, looking around him. He knew that voice; it was Hannibal saying his name. Hannibal was here; he was obviously the one who had brought him here, even though Will didn't remember them coming here, or even talking to the other man.

Had Hannibal brought him here while he had lost time? Why would he have done that? Did he somehow think that this place could be of some benefit to Will? That didn't seem possible, but with the way Hannibal's mind worked, Will wouldn't put it past him.

"What are you doing here?" He started to take a step towards the other man -- then realized that Hannibal was standing far away from him, at the other end of the bridge.

He couldn't walk across it. If he did, then he risked falling far below, into the churning, rushing water under that bridge. There was no safe way to get to the other side; the entire thing looked as though it could fall apart at any moment.

He was too far away to get to Hannibal, and that fact almost made hm want to cry with frustration. The one person who held the answers to his questions was here, so tantalizingly near, and yet so far away at the same time that it made Will want to scream.

"Come to me, Will." Hannibal smiled, holding out a hand to him.

But Will only stood there, shaking his head. "I can't," he whispered, not caring if the other man could her him or not. "I'll fall. It's not safe."

"Nothing about the two of us is safe, Will." That voice as so calm, so sure. Hannibal was right; there was no safety in the two of them being together. He'd known since he first met Hannibal that he was a dangerous man; Hannibal was only affirming that thought.

He wanted to cross that bridge. He wanted to be on the other side, standing there with Hannibal, feeling safe and secure with the man who was not only his lover, but who, for all intents and purposes, was helping him to hold on to his sanity.

But he couldn't. He knew that if he took a step forward, the bridge would collapse beneath his feet, and he would be plunged to certain death. Even if he could manage to survive hurtling into that frigid, rushing water, he knew that he would never be the same afterwards.

He had changed enough in the past few weeks. He had become someone that he barely recognized when he looked into the mirror, someone he wasn't sure that he liked. If he kept metamorphosing, if those changes kept happening, then he would no longer who he was.

Nothing was more frightening than the idea of losing his identity.

The man on the other side of the bridge raised a hand, holding it out to him. Will wished that he could simply reach out and take that hand, that they were close enough for their fingers to touch, then to grasp, and for Hannibal to pull him safely across that distance.

That wasn't going to happen, and he knew it. There was no way that anyone could reach across that space; it was far too wide, and too dangerous. He didn't want Hannibal to risk himself by meeting him halfway; that would put both of them at far too much risk.

Hannibal was beckoning him along a bridge to nowhere, one that he knew he couldn't cross. But something told him that he would have to make it across if he wanted to be with Hannibal.

it was that simple. If he didn't at least try to cross this bridge, then the future he was starting to believe that he and Hannibal could have together would disappear; it would never come to pass, because he lacked the courage to make it happen.

But if he tried to cross that bridge and failed, he would fall into that churning water, and be swept away. He might lose his identity, his sense of self; he might even lose his life. He would have to risk everything to be with Hannibal.

Did he have the courage to do that? There was only one way for him to find out.

Tentatively, he put one foot forward, knowing that the worst thing he could do would be to look down, to see that foaming white water beneath him. If he looked down, he would lose his balance and go crashing down into that water -- and then he would be gone for good.

But if he didn't look down, then he wouldn't be able to see where he was going; he had to watch his steps to be sure that he didn't put a foot wrong.

Just as that thought crossed his mind, he put another foot forward -- and looked down. In the space of time from one second to the next, his foot slipped -- and he was falling, falling through that bridge that led to nowhere, falling into that rushing water that threatened to swallow him alive.

Will screamed, reaching for anything that would stop his fall, anything that was solid, anything that he could hold on to and save himself. But there was nothing; only the air whistling past his ears, the coldness of the water as he hit it, filling his lungs with a cold that burned .....

The last thing he saw before he went under was Hannibal's smile.

Will awoke with a jolt, sitting up in bed, swallowing a scream that had risen in his throat. He pressed a hand against his chest, feeling his heart pounding; he was drenched in a cold sweat, as though he actually had been submerged in that freezing water.

Or was it sweat? he wondered. Maybe he had fallen into that icy water, and somehow managed to survive, to pull himself to the banks of that river and climb out, then make his way home. Or maybe Hannibal had saved his life by pulling him out of those treacherous depths.

He didn't know what had happened, what was truth and what was dream. But somehow, that bridge to nowhere seemed to symbolize all that was wrong with his life. It was a metaphor for everything that kept him from being where he wanted to be.

There was only one place he wanted to be, one place he needed to be. He knew where that place was -- the only place where he felt that he truly belonged.

That place was by Hannibal's side.

Yes, it sounded crazy. Hannibal might not even want him there. But it was the only place Will wanted to be; it was the one place he felt that he needed to be. Not here, all alone in the dead of night, miles away from the one person who made everything in his life fall into place.

Will kicked back the covers, getting to his feet. He was going to shower, then he was going to see Hannibal, despite the lateness of the hour -- or earliness, depending on which way he looked at it. He needed Hannibal, needed to talk to him, to be close to him.

He didn't think that Hannibal would turn him away. He couldn't. Hannibal was his bridge to the world, and that bridge couldn't disintegrate under his feet.

If that happened, then he would truly have nowhere to turn.