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Title: Prudence
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Seven Heavenly Virtues Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: Prudence - Care of and moderation with money.
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, they're saying it's too much of an expense?"

Will couldn't believe his ears. He didn't want to hear what Jack was telling him; it sounded ridiculous to him, like the lamest excuse in the book.

He was being told that it was too expensive to mount a search for Hannibal, that prudence was the byword with the FBI these days, and that they couldn't spare the expense to chase down a killer who had obviously fled the country and wouldn't be easy to find.

"The truth is, the higher-ups in the FBI just don't give a shit," he told Jack, his tone bitter. "They wish he had done away with me and they could forget the whole thing."

That wasn't entirely true, and he knew it. The FBI wanted to catch the Chesapeake Ripper, but there were people who still didn't believe that it was Hannibal, even with all of the damning evidence against him. Too many people who were still enthralled by him.

His charm and charisma had fooled some people so completely that they wouldn't believe he was a killer -- even while he was slitting their own throats.

And now they were using this lame excuse to stop the search.

Well, he wasn't going to let it happen, Will thought angrily. Even if he had to fund the search for Hannibal himself, out of his own money, he would do it.

Of course, he knew as soon as the thought crossed his mind that it was impossible. He didn't have nearly enough money to finance the kind of exhaustive tracking it would take to find Hannibal. Even he and Jack together wouldn't have that kind of money.

The truth was, if the FBI didn't want to continue the search for Hannibal, then he would be forced to give up. He could look for Hannibal on his own time, but that was it.

He couldn't believe that they were letting money hold them back.

No, it wasn't money, Will thought with a sigh. It was their own short-sightedness. And besides that, it was the fact that they were embarrassed by their own failures.

If they didn't continue the search for Hannibal, if they claimed that he was now out of their jurisdiction and they no longer had any responsibility for him, then they didn't have to admit that they'd had him, had nearly caught him, and yet he had eluded them once again.

He had slipped through their fingers so many times already; the Chesapeake Ripper had been too clever even for the infamous Will Graham to catch.

By the time Will had figured out that Hannibal was the Ripper, his reputation had been in tatters. He'd been a disgraced former FBI agent, one who nobody would listen to.

Most people had thought that he was the guilty party, that he was the murderous monster. So many people who he had considered friends had even thought that he was insane. All of this had taught him a lesson, a very bitter one.

Never trust anyone. Even now, when he knew that Jack was the only person he could depend on, Will didn't fully trust the other man. He never had, not really.

He couldn't trust the FBI, or anyone else. He was on his own.

If the FBI wanted to be prudent with money, then he could do that. But he could still mount a search for the killer he needed to catch; it could be done.

He would beg and plead if he had to, but he wouldn't simply give up on the chase. He wasn't going to let Hannibal get away with all that he had done, and he wasn't going to depend on anyone else to catch him. He was still in the middle of this situation.

His own prudence wasn't something that could be trusted; Will knew that he would move heaven and earth to catch the fiend who had nearly killed him.

This temporary setback wasn't going to stop him from achieving his goal.

"Will, there are ways around this. We'll find a way to keep looking for him," Jack said, his tone conciliatory. "I'm not going to give up, either. We've both lost too much."

Will nodded grimly in acknowledgement of Jack's words. They had lost too much, both of them; they had lost friends, people they cared for -- and they'd almost lost their lives. This wasn't something that they could simply let go and turn their backs on.

If prudence was the byword for the FBI now, then they would prove that they could be prudent,a nd still look for the killer who had turned their lives upside down.

He would learn to be prudent, with money as well as with time. But he wouldn't cut corners in the search for Hannibal if he didn't have to. He wasn't going to say that they couldn't afford to catch a dangerous killer, someone who could wreak so much havoc in the world.

Somehow, he and Jack had to convince the FBI to see things their way, to keep going after Hannibal until he was caught and safely behind bars.

Once that was done, then they could think about being prudent.