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Title: Outlook Stormy
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Last Rites."
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.
***The future didn't look clear to him. Not at all.
Somehow, Will had thought that it would. He'd thought that he would know what to do, which way to turn to deceive Hannibal, and that this would all be over quickly.
But that wasn't going to happen, he realized now. It wasn't going to be easy to get Hannibal to admit what he was, even if he thought that Will was becoming his acolyte.
Hannibal was too used to dissembling, to hiding what he truly was. Will was sure that he hid that even from himself, refusing to acknowledge the fact that he was a murderous monster and trying to formulate reason in his own mind why killing and eating human beings wasn't a horrible thing to do.
He was a psychopath, and he had to be stopped. Will knew that. But he was beginning to doubt his own ability to do so, even with Jack's help. He couldn't seem to move forward.
It felt as though every time he came up with a way to force Hannibal into a corner, to make him talk about what he was and the things he had done, Hannibal neatly sidestepped him.
The bastard could find a way to avoid talking when he wanted to.
Though, of course, he still expected them to continue their sessions, and to have Will talk to him. And it was getting hard for Will to hide the fact that he found Hannibal repulsive, and even frightening.
How much longer would he be able to keep up this act, to pretend that he was falling under some kind of spell and that he didn't hold Hannibal responsible for a series of reprehensible murders? He didn't think he could keep doing this for much longer; at some point, he was going to crack under the strain.
He was already showing signs of doing that; he had never slept well, but now, he barely slept more than a couple of hours a night at a time, if that. He would fall asleep, then jolt awake and lie there for hours.
Try as he might, he couldn't feel that he was achieving his goal.
He had so badly wanted to capture Hannibal, to make him confess, or better yet, to catch him in the act of carving up a body. He didn't want to see that, but he had no choice.
Will didn't want any more people to die, and he knew that as long as Hannibal was free, they would. He had no doubt that this man was the Chesapeake Ripper, that he was a monster walking amongst them.
He might not have incontrovertible proof yet, but he would. He knew, he just knew, that Hannibal had body parts somewhere in his house. Will might not know where they were kept, but they were there, and at some point, he would have the freedom to explore the house and find them.
Once he did, then Hannibal would be caught. There would be no explanation he could give, nowhere that he could turn and run to. He would finally be put behind bars, where he belonged.
Then, and only then, would Will be able to relax his vigilance, to let down his guard. When Hannibal was finally caught and his guilt was proven, then he would be vindicated.
But until then, he had to live with the feeling that there were storm clouds hanging over his head, ready to start pouring down rain and troubles on him at any time. He would have to continue feeling that he was a hapless fly that was circling dangerously close to a spider's web that he might not be able to fight his way out of.
He couldn't help feeling that Hannibal was watching him just as closely as he was watching the other man, not quite trusting him, just waiting for him to slip up and make one wrong move.
If he did, if he let his guard down for one moment, then he would be dead. He didn't doubt that Hannibal would kill him and hack up his body without a second thought.
After all, Hannibal had already tried to kill him once, hadn't he?
He had induced those seizures, and he had literally given Will encephalitis just to see how far he could go with it. If the disease had killed Will, Hannibal wouldn't have cared.
Will's lips twisted derisively at the thought. No, Hannibal wouldn't have cared whether he had died or not, he would simply have considered it an unfortunate turn of events. Hannibal wasn't capable of caring about anyone but himself; he was a serial killer, no more than conscienceless monster.
He was lucky to have escaped that monster once, and most people would say that he was insane to have done what he was doing now and thrown himself back into the abyss that he had only recently climbed out of.
But if he didn't, then there would be more deaths, and he would, in a way, be responsible for them.
He didn't want that on his conscience. He couldn't let Hannibal stay free to kill more innocent people. He couldn't put those lives at risk, not now that he knew Hannibal was the Ripper.
Still, forcing his nemesis into a corner and getting the proof he needed to put bars around him for the rest of his life was going to be the hardest thing Will had ever done.
He'd thought that it would be fairly simple, once Hannibal believed that he had crossed over to the dark side and was turning into what Hannibal wanted him to be. But Will could see that the outlook in that regard was stormy; he had a hard time discerning whether or not Hannibal was falling for his act.
Sometimes he was sure that he'd made a wrong move, that his act was coming to a premature end and that he would feel the sting of a knife stabbing him in the back at any moment.
And at other times, he was sure that all he needed was one more push, just one tiny movement, a few well-placed words, and that Hannibal would fall into the trap that Will and Jack had set for him.
So far, that hadn't happened. But he had to keep trying.
If he didn't, then there were sure to be more deaths -- and he knew all too well that his own could very well be amongst them if he wasn't careful. Hannibal would kill him with no regrets.
He didn't fool himself into thinking that Hannibal would have any kind of regard for him if he found out that Will was simply faking it, pretending that he was changing. Hannibal would be enraged at such a betrayal, and he would do whatever he saw fit to make the person perpetrating it pay, and pay dearly.
Yes, the outlook was most definitely stormy and blurry for him. Try as he might, Will couldn't tell what the future would hold. He'd simply have to forge ahead, and hope that his plan was successful.
Will just hoped that his plan didn't backfire directly in his face.
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