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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: 23, Defeat
Author's Note: Sequel to "Black Sky."
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.
***He had won. In the end, he had won.
Hannibal was in jail, and he was free. He had exposed a monster, put him behind bars, where he belonged. He was a hero to a lot of people.
But had he really won? Will asked himself. He felt as though he had lost everything; there was no longer any center to his world, nothing for him to cling to. He had lost what he had begun to think of as his rock, his only stability in a world that constantly changed around him.
Hannibal had been his oasis of quiet in a stormy sea; he had depended on their sessions, their talks. They'd made him feel as though someone cared.
Of course, that had never been the truth.
He had thought Hannibal understood him, or at least wanted to try to understand. That had made him feel safe, as though he had someone to count on.
Will was nothing but an experiment to Hannibal; he had never been anything other than just another idiot to manipulate, to use, to see how far Hannibal could push him, how much he could twist until his new toy broke and was unable to be repaired.
He wasn't going to try to fool himself into believing that he had ever meant anything more than that. Such a monster wasn't capable of caring, or even understanding.
That was why he felt so defeated now, when he should feel victorious. Hannibal might have lost everything, but so had Will. And his loss seemed much greater.
He'd lost people he cared about; he had lost memories that he should be able to regain, but which were more than likely lost forever in the mists of his mind. He had lost so much more than Hannibal ever would, even though Hannibal had lost his freedom.
Hannibal still had his mind and his memories intact; he could still manipulate people whenever he had the chance. And really, that was all he lived for.
He would always be a user, whether he was behind bars or not.
He'd managed to use Will, to manipulate him for his own devious ends, even to almost take his life. And yet, Will was the still the one who felt defeated.
Until he got those memories back, the memories that Hannibal had robbed him of, he would never feel that he had been the victor in this game, Will thought with a sigh. He would always feel that sense of defeat; he would always know that Hannibal had, in a way, bested him.
Hannibal might be the one behind bars, but Will felt that he was the one living in a cage -- the prison of his own mind, a mind with gaps that might never be filled.
He was more a prisoner than Hannibal would ever be.
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