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Title: Protecting Each Other
Pairing: Will Graham/Sherlock Holmes
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.
***"What do you mean, you saw Hannibal today?"
Will felt as though his entire body was paralyzed; for a few moments, he couldn't move, could barely breathe. His mind seemed to be swirling with a million questions at once, all fighting to be verbalized.
How had Sherlock seen Hannibal? Had that bastard been anywhere near his love? Had Hannibal threatened him? What was he doing here in London?
Of course, Sherlock couldn't know the answer to that last question. But Will didn't doubt that Hannibal would have followed them here; he was tenacious enough to keep going after what he wanted until he had achieved his objective.
He obviously wanted Will, and he wasn't going to back down until he had his intended prey back within his grasp.
The thought made Will shudder; he didn't want to be anywhere near Hannibal again. He had always thought there would be another, final confrontation -- but he wasn't ready to deal with it yet. He was still preparing himself for that moment.
It was a moment that he didn't look forward to.
Will was immensely relieved that Sherlock hadn't caught up to Hannibal on the street today; the last thing he wanted was for his boyfriend to confront Hannibal alone, even if there were other people around.
He didn't doubt that Hannibal might have carried a knife, or a syringe full of some deadly substance that he could have easily dispatched Sherlock with.
He pushed that thought away as rapidly as it had occurred to him; he didn't want to even think of the possibility of Hannibal killing Sherlock. It wasn't going to happen, Will told himself firmly. He wouldn't allow it.
They would catch the monster long before he had a chance to come after either of them in such a way. And they would protect each other.
But today, he hadn't been there with Sherlock to protect him. A wave of guilt swept over him, the feeling that he should have been with his boyfriend to watch Sherlock's back and be sure that he was safe swamping his senses.
"I might have been mistaken. But I don't think so."
Sherlock was shaking his head, his face grim, his hands clenched into fists at his sides. He was obviously shaken by what he'd seen.
Will made himself speak, even though his voice was still strained. "I don't think you were, either. I'm pretty sure he would have followed us here."
"I don't doubt that it was Hannibal who tried to shoot you when we were in the country." Anger reverberated in Sherlock's voice; Will could tell that it was hard for him to get the words out. "No one else would go after you like that."
Will nodded, reluctant to admit that he could be in danger. He hated the thought, but he had to face it. There was no other choice.
"You're in just as much danger as I am," he said softy, his voice shaking slightly. "He's going to focus on you as the person who 'took me away from him.'"
Sherlock nodded, looking somber. "Yes, I realise that," he said, his voice soft, his gaze studying Will's pale features. He reached out to take his boyfriend's hand, those long fingers twining with Will's. "He's a malevolent man."
Will swallowed hard, wishing that there was some way they could run and hide, a way to be safe from Hannibal forever. But that wasn't how things were.
They would have to confront him at some point. It horrified him to think that Sherlock had almost done that today, alone and unprotected.
If that man on the street had indeed been Hannibal.
No, there was no doubt of that. Will was sure that Sherlock wouldn't have made that big of a mistake; it was just fortunate that when he had plunged through the crowded street after Hannibal, he hadn't been able to catch him.
Or maybe, from another point of view, it was unfortunate. It might have been better for Sherlock to get to him and confront him on the spot.
Still, Will was glad that hadn't happened. When they did confront Hannibal, he wanted it to be as a team, the two of them together, standing strong against any adversity that Hannibal could throw at them.
He wanted to show Hannibal once and for all that he was free of his influence, that he was his own man, and that he had made his choice.
That choice was Sherlock. The man he loved, the only person he ever wanted to be with. He would never regret choosing to be with Sherlock, and he would never change his mind. Hannibal had to know that, once and for all.
If he didn't want to accept that fact, then that was his problem.
"Not to worry, Will," Sherlock said with what was obviously a note of forced cheerfulness in his tone. "We'll catch him. He isn't going to stand a chance against the two of us, not when we're working as a team."
Will swallowed and nodded, hoping that what Sherlock said was true. He wanted to think positively, wanted to believe that they could capture Hannibal.
That monster had to be put behind bars for good, not only for their safety, but for the well-being of the world in general. If they didn't catch him, then he could go on to harm even more people. No one was safe while he was free.
Least of all himself and Sherlock, Will thought as a shiver ran down his spine. They would be Hannibal's primary target.
They would have to do all they could to keep themselves safe, he told himself, returning the gentle pressure of Sherlock's hand in his own. But something told him that Hannibal would strike when they were least prepared to face him.
All they could do was try to be ready when their nemesis attacked.
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