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Title: A Dead-End Road
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "His Cross To Bear."
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 should have known that his friendship with Hannibal would come to a dead end.

It had been written in the stars from the beginning, hadn't it? Will thought wryly, his lips twisting in a parody of a smile. They'd never been intended to be friends.

It figured that just when he'd found someone who seemed to understand him so completely, that person would turn out to be the kind of conscienceless monster who he'd dedicated his life to tracking down and putting behind bars.

Why had he ever thought that he could find someone who understood him, someone who could truly be his friends without any reservations?

He should have known better, Will berated himself. He should have known that no one could truly be that friends he'd always looked for, that person who would accept him unreservedly, who would understand him without requiring explanations.

He'd wanted to believe that Hannibal was that person, had wanted to believe it so much that he had almost let himself be fooled. And look where that had gotten him.

Just another dead end, like so many others in his life.

Now that he had his memories back, now that he knew what Hannibal had done to him -- and had fathomed most of the reasons for it -- that still didn't make things any better.

He still had an insatiable need to know exactly why, but he knew that he would never get Hannibal to reveal those reasons.

No, his nemesis would keep playing mind games with him, on into the future, for the rest of their lives. Will would never be able to get inside his head, not in the way that he'd managed to get into Will's. He simply didn't have the wherewithal for it that Hannibal did.

Hannibal had always been good at playing mind games, he thought, with another mirthless smile. That was his forté -- getting inside people's heads.

He'd certainly done a number on Will's head -- but he'd wised up when he was in jail, even though all of his memories still hadn't come back to him.

He would never forgive Hannibal for taking those memories from him, for clouding his mind and keeping him in the dark for so long. Even now, maybe each and every memory hadn't come back to him in crystal clarity -- but he knew enough, and he would piece together the rest.

And now, he knew what Hannibal was. He knew that he had stood face to face with pure, unadulterated evil -- and he'd beaten it back.

He could be proud of himself for that. He'd put Hannibal in jail, where he belonged -- even though it had been exceedingly hard for him to do.

It had signaled the end of his feeling as though anyone understood him.

Yes, Hannibal might still understand him in some ways, but Will could never look at them as being friends again. They'd never really been friends.

Hannibal had used him and manipulated him; that had been the crux of their so-called "friendship" all along. As long as Hannibal could manipulate him, then he'd considered Will a friend. But when he couldn't pull the wool over Will's eyes any longer, he'd become a liability.

That friendship had been a dead end all along. It had been inevitable that they would stand on opposite sides of the fence, never to be reconciled.

Now here he was, a free man, and Hannibal was in jail. The tables had turned, and things were as they should be, at long last. Still, there was a sense of desolation within Will, one that he didn't think he would ever manage to overcome.

He'd never find anyone who understood him. He would always be on the outside looking in; he'd always be left at the end of a dead-end road.

He might as well get used to that feeling, because it was never going to change.