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Title: Pressure
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "Hear Me."
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 frowned as he gazed into the flickering embers of the fire, steepling his fingers under his chin as Hannibal often did and trying to collect his thoughts. There was a lot on his mind, and he wanted to sort it all through before he saw his lover again.

Was he pressuring Hannibal too much? Was he making it seem as though their relationship should be the most important priority in Hannibal's life?

That wasn't something he wanted to do. He didn't want the man he loved to feel pressured into being with him. He wanted Hannibal to be with him of his own free will because he wanted to. Because he was loved, not because his lover felt some obligation to him.

He knew what it was like to be pressured.

Not in that way, of course. No one had ever pressured him sexually, for any reason. But he knew what it was like to be pressured in other ways, especially at work. And he didn't want to put the same kind of pressure on Hannibal that he'd been made to feel.

It wasn't comfortable, and it wasn't something he wanted to do to another person, especially someone that he loved. He wouldn't do it. He'd make sure that he didn't.

But it was so hard not to want more than what they had at the moment. It felt as though they were pulling away from each other lately, not drawing closer. He kept telling himself that it was just the normal ebb and flow of a relationship, but maybe he was wrong.

After all, what did he know about relationships? He'd never been in one before this. He'd never even had a proper date, not really. He'd never been social.

So how the hell did he know what was going on? And more importantly, how did he avoid putting pressure on Hannibal for their relationship to be kicked up a notch? How did he push them forward just a little bit without tipping them over the edge?

Hannibal was much better at this than he was.

His lover was good at steering him into situations without making him feel pressured. Will didn't consider it manipulation; Hannibal simply guided him to where he needed to be.

But he was bad at it. He couldn't even move a conversation in the direction he wanted it to go in a smooth, unobtrusive way. So what the hell made him think that he could somehow steer their relationship into the path that he wanted it to take?

And why did he think that he might be able to do it without making Hannibal feel pressured? He knew that he couldn't. He wasn't the one with a talent in that area.

He never tried to pressure anyone into anything. He didn't like the feeling when people tried that with him, the way that Jack was doing at work.

So he didn't want to pressure Hannibal. He simply didn't know how to bring up the subject of their waning sexual relationship without making his lover feel that he was being too demanding, asking for too much. He didn't want to seem needy. And he didn't want to beg.

Maybe the best thing to do was simply to talk to Hannibal about it, honestly and openly, tell his lover how he felt and lay his cards directly on the table.

Though that could possibly be the worst thing to do.

That might not make Hannibal feel pressured, but it might annoy him -- and there was the possibility that he could decide he'd had enough of their relationship and turn away from Will. Which would bring his entire world crumbling to the ground.

The last thing he wanted was to jeopardize their relationship in any way. And pressuring Hannibal could not only do that, it could destroy their relationship.

Or would it? Would Hannibal understand that he didn't mean to put a lot of pressure on him, but that he wanted more than what they currently seemed to have? Would it be worth sitting down and talking about it, just for his own peace of mind?

It probably would, Will told himself. After all, Hannibal was a calm, rational man. He wouldn't jump to any unwarranted conclusions about the two of them.

And with any luck, he wouldn't feel pressured. Will could explain that pressure wasn't what this was about, that he simply wanted to move things forward. If Hannibal couldn't understand, then nobody could. Hannibal was the kind of person who seemed to understand everything.

Besides, if they couldn't talk openly and honestly, they didn't have much of a relationship anyway.

He wasn't going to pressure Hannibal. He was merely going to talk to his lover about how he felt, what he wanted and needed from their relationship. It would be up to Hannibal as to whether or not he was willing to give him those things.

If he wasn't, well, then they would have to either go their separate ways, or he would have to learn how to sublimate his needs until they could be fulfilled.

Will sighed softly, closing his eyes and letting himself sink back into the comfortable cushions of the couch. He was good at sublimating. That was one thing that he knew he could do. He just hoped that he wouldn't have to do it for very much longer.