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Title: Freedom Regained
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.
***He was free. He was being released from jail.
He didn't know how Sherlock had done it, but obviously, he had. The warden had come to tell Will that he was being released, telling him to get ready. Will didn't know exactly what to do to get ready, but whatever it was, he'd do it gladly.
When the doors of his cell opened, he was taken to a private bathroom, where he was allowed to change his clothes. He stripped off the orange prison jumpsuit with distaste.
Gratefully, he put on his own clothes again; it felt good to be wearing something that was normal for the first time in what felt like forever. The softness of the plaid shirt against his skin felt like heaven; he would never take that for granted again.
There were so many things he'd never again be able to take for granted.
Like knowing that he had a friend who was there for him, he told himself, his thoughts turning to Sherlock. Someone who wanted to help him, Someone who .... cared.
It felt unbelievably good to be out of that cell, to be walking down a hallway dressed in his own clothes. It would feel even better to walk outside, in the sunshine, to know that he was a free man and that he would never have to come back here again.
He never would, Will vowed to himself. At no time in the future would he ever set foot in this place again. Not even in a professional capacity.
He almost snorted at that thought. What professional capacity? Jack and Hannibal had made sure that he was stripped of any kind of career; he was obviously done with law enforcement. They'd managed to destroy his life, to take away the one thing that gave him stability.
His teaching had meant so much to him; Jack and Hannibal both knew that. They had used their lies to rip that away from him, to destroy his credibility.
He hated them. He hated them both.
He hated everything they stood for, everything they had tried to make him become. He hated them for using him, and then throwing him away like trash. He hated everything they had ever said, ever done, and all they had ever been in his life.
Will didn't wish death on the two of them, No, death was too good for those scheming bastards. They didn't deserve the sweet oblivion that death could bring.
No, those two deserved to have their freedom and independence taken away for the rest of their lives for what they had done. Jack deserved it just as much as Hannibal; Will was sure that he had gone along with Hannibal's plan to frame him for murder.
He must have. He had blocked every attempt to clear Will's name.
And he had made it impossible for anyone to prove that Will was innocent, going out of his way to make sure that his once-trusted agent remained behind bars.
Yes, Jack was just as complicit in this as Hannibal was. He was an evil monster, maybe not on the same level as Hannibal Lecter -- who was, after all, a murderer -- but Jack knew what Hannibal had done to Will, and was covering for him.
That in itself was beyond evil. Setting up an innocent man to spend his life in prison and be driven mad one day at a time wasn't just evil, it was unconscionable.
But still, he wasn't really surprised that Jack had done so, Will thought, his lips twisting in a parody of his former smile. Jack wanted to get rid of him.
Jack had always merely wanted to use him for his empathic ability, and then throw him away like a piece of trash when that ability was strained to its limits. Jack had always intended to get rid of him; Hannibal had just made it easier to do so.
At the moment, he didn't want to think of them any more. He wanted to walk out into the sunlight, to meet Sherlock, and to make his way to freedom.
Freedom. The word had never sounded so sweet.
He was at the last checkpoint now before he could move out into the sunlight and walk through the front gates as a free man. Will accepted the things that he'd come in with gratefully, glad to see that none of his belongings had been disturbed.
Yes, everything was there. With a curt nod, he turned towards the gates, walking through when they opened without a backward glance.
He kept walking, heading out to the parking lot. He didn't know if anyone was going to be waiting there for him; if Sherlock wasn't there, then he would take a bus into Vienna, and get a cab from there to Wolf Trap. He would simply .... go home.
He squinted as the sunlight blinded him, then opened his eyes.
Sherlock was standing there -- next to Will's car. He was tall and dark and handsome, just as Will had thought he was when they had first met.
Was it his imagination, or was Sherlock even more handsome now, in the bright light of day rather than under those harsh fluorescent prison lights, the sunshine gleaming off his hair and making his skin seem almost translucent?
No, it wasn't his imagination. He had never seen anyone as beautiful as Sherlock was to him in this moment, never seen a smile as bright, as welcoming.
"Will." Sherlock held out a hand to him; Will was expecting the other man to shake his hand, but instead, Sherlock pulled him into a hug, those strong arms moving around him and pulling him close against the lean, hard length of Sherlock's body.
His own body responded in a way that he hadn't expected; in an instant, he was hard, his heart seeming to slam against his rib cage, his breath coming faster.
How could this man have such an effect on him?
"Sherlock." His voice was trembling, as well as his body. Could Sherlock feel him shaking? Of course he did; Sherlock was holding him, one hand moving soothingly down hi back. He buried his face against the other man's shoulder, fighting back the urge to burst into tears.
"Will, it's all right," Sherlock said softly. "It's all right. You're free. For good. I promise you that. Let's go to your house, and we'll talk everything over."
Will nodded, almost afraid to speak for fear that he would cry if he did. Sherlock was right. He had gained his freedom, and that was all he needed to think about right now. They would go home and talk about his future, and hopefully make some plans.
The rest of his life lay open ahead of him. He needed to make the most of it.
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