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Title: Reversal of Circumstances
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Otherwordly Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: Peripeteia - A sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances; the point of no return.
Author's Note: Sequel to "Grand Passion."
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.
***This was a reversal. One that felt very uncomfortable.
Will sighed softly, closing his eyes and leaning back in his chair. He wasn't used to being the one who had the upper hand in this relationship.
Not that Hannibal kept him some kind of prisoner; no, exactly the opposite. He'd thought that their relationship was a good one -- until Hannibal's revelation, that is. It was still hard to believe that his lover had been keeping such a momentous secret from him.
How had Hannibal managed to keep something like that a secret? And why would he do it? Why would he want their relationship to happen?
It didn't make sense to Will.
Hannibal was a killer. He had admitted it. So why did he want to be involved with someone who he knew would feel duty-bound to turn him over to the authorities?
Not only that -- but he was involved with someone who was part of the authorities. Why would he wanted to have a relationship with someone who was obviously on a different side? And why had he been so careful to hide everything from Will?
He was actually surprised that he was still alive. Knowing that Hannibal was a serial killer, he should have been dead long since.
Was it because Hannibal was in love with him? Will's breathing quickened at the thought. Yes, Hannibal had said those three little words, more than once -- but Will had always wondered if he truly meant them, or if he only said them because it was what he was expected to say.
Now it seemed that Hannibal intended to give up his serial killing, to become what would be considered a "normal" person. For Will. Because he loved him.
Was that even possible? Will wasn't sure.
He didn't think it was. Once a serial killer, always a serial killer, he told himself with an inward sigh. Just like a leopard not changing its spots, he didn't believe that a killer could change. He'd had way too much experience with them to harbor such a vain hope.
But he wanted to believe that Hannibal could change. He wanted to believe that this man actually wanted to change for him, so they could have a life together.
But was it possible, or even probable? Will slowly shook his head, closing his eyes. No. It wasn't. There might be something of a change for a while, but it wouldn't last. It couldn't. Hannibal couldn't change what he was, even if he truly wanted to do so.
It was no use to hope for the impossible.
Will bit his lip, almost hard enough to draw blood. The problem was that he didn't want the idea of Hannibal changing to be impossible.
He wanted the two of them to keep their relationship going, for Hannibal to be able to throw aside the less palatable aspects of who he was and give up his secret life. He wanted them to move forward, to put this behind them and never speak of it again.
But they'd never be able to, and he knew it. He would always wonder if Hannibal had killed again, and if his boyfriend was still keeping secrets from him.
Suddenly, everything had gone pear-shaped. It was as though their lives had done a complete 360-degree turn, and everything was backwards.
This was a complete reversal of circumstances. Now, the power and control in the relationship didn't belong to Hannibal any longer; Will was the one who held that power, who had to make the decision as to what would happen, if they would continue or stop in their tracks.
He was the one who would determine their future. This was the point of no return, and he knew that he had to make the right decision.
But what was right for one of them wouldn't necessarily be right for the other.
Turning Hannibal in to the authorities was what he should do. He knew that. It would keep him safe in the long run, and it would possibly keep other innocent people from losing their lives. It was the right thing to do; his mind screamed that fact at him.
He had gone past the point of no return and back, pondering over this, worrying, wondering just how he was supposed to make this kind of a decision.
It almost felt head, to have this kind of power, to know that he was the one who would either guide their relationship into its nascent future, or bring it to an end. He'd never had that kind of power before, and he had to admit that it made him feel almost giddy.
Or it would, if the circumstances surrounding it weren't so serious.
Could he and Hannibal have a happy life? Could they put the past behind them and move on into the future? And more importantly, could he ever forget what he knew?
Will closed his eyes, the truth slowly seeping into his mind like a black, viscous poison. No, he couldn't just turn his back on all that he now knew about Hannibal. He could never make a life with someone who he knew such a dark secret about.
He would always wonder if Hannibal would revert to his old ways, and if he would be his lover's first victim. It wasn't something he could live with.
That fear would infuse every interaction with Hannibal. Even if their love for each other grew, it could never be fully pushed aside. It would always be there in the back of his mind, poisoning his every thought, his every action. It would never go away.
That wasn't a life. It would merely be an existence, a time bomb ticking down until the moment that the fuse lit and his life exploded around him.
Until the moment that Hannibal chose to end his life.
He couldn't live like that, Will told himself reluctantly. He would be living a lie, merely marking time while he waited for Hannibal to make a final, fatal move.
He'd never been a stupid person; he wasn't about to stick his head in a noose. If he didn't turn Hannibal in, then he had no doubt that he would eventually be a victim, and he didn't want to see himself in that light. He wasn't a victim. He was a survivor.
This meant that he would have to put the man he loved behind bars, turn his back on a future that had once looked so promising, a future that had once held the possibility of happiness.
But he could never be completely happy with Hannibal. Not now.
It was too late for happiness, Will told himself, sitting up with a sigh. That chance had passed them by, if it had ever existed at all.
He would never be happy with someone like Hannibal. He would never be sure if the love they shared would be enough to keep Hannibal from reverting back to what he had always been -- and he would never be able to feel safe with his lover again.
It wasn't a chance that he was willing to take. it wasn't a chance that anyone who was sane would dare to take. It was simply too risky, not only for himself, but for the world.
Turning Hannibal in was the right thing to do.
He hesitated even as he reached for his cell phone, but this time, he didn't put it back. He dialed Jack's number, speaking slowly at first, then rapidly as the story spilled out. And when he hung up, he knew that he had done the right thing.
And a part of him wondered if he would ever forgive himself for it.
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