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Title: Save Himself
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #199, Save
Author's Note: Sequel to "What He Saw."
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.


"I'm not looking for someone to save me, Hannibal."

Will frowned, shaking his head and shifting in his chair. Hannibal was taking this all wrong. He was looking into the vision too deeply.

Because it had to be a vision, didn't it? There was no such thing as a stag with a man's body. He'd had some kind of hallucination, or he had been sleepwalking again and had simply dreamed that horrible thing. It didn't exist outside of his mind. It couldn't.

He had given it life with his mind. It didn't exist in the corporeal, waking world. It was only a figment of his imagination, a part of his dreams.

He didn't need to be saved from his dreams.

Or did he? Will asked himself with a soft sigh. Maybe he needed to be guided away from those dreams, for his own sanity and self-preservation.

"Will, what are you thinking?" Hannibal leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, studying Will's face with an intent gaze. "You can't simply sit there and let thoughts go through your head, you know. You need to talk to me, to tell me what you're feeling."

"I'm not sure just what I'm feeling," Will said, sighing again. "I guess I'm thinking that maybe I need to be saved from myself, that's all."

"That is an interesting way of looking at things," Hannibal commented, raising an eyebrow. "I may have to agree with you, Will. You seem to be going further inside your mind, dreaming up images that are quite far removed from any sort of reality."

That was just what he was afraid of. He didn't want to retreat into some kind of dream world. Real life could be threatening enough, in his experience.

He wanted to live in the real world, not the shadowy one of his dreams.

But that seemed to be more easily said than done. It almost felt as though his dreams were taking over, pushing him into a world of confusion and fear.

He didn't want to live in that world. He wanted the mists to clear, to stop having these kinds of visions, if that was what they were. He wanted to have some peace of mind, rather than seeing these things, and not knowing what they were supposed to represent.

How could he articulate that to Hannibal? The other man would never understand; he never had to deal with things like this in his own mind.

No, Hannibal's mind was wonderfully clear.

How could someone who never had to struggle with anything like this understand what it was like? Will asked himself, his hands curling into fists.

Was he actually angry at Hannibal for the fact that his mind wasn't as hopelessly muddled as his own sometimes seemed to be? He tried to relax, to push that anger away from him even as he reluctantly acknowledged the fact that it was there.

He shouldn't be angry at Hannibal. It wasn't his fault that this man couldn't save him. It wasn't anybody's fault. He couldn't depend on being saved.

He had to save himself. Will closed his eyes, trying to force his hands to relax, then the rest of his body. He had to find some semblance of calm.

"You can't save me," he finally whispered, shaking his head. "I know that. I can't talk to you about what I've seen in my dreams, or visions, or whatever you want to call them, and expect you to make it all better. I've got to do that for myself."

"I'm glad to see you realizing that fact, Will," Hannibal told him, his voice very quiet. "You are the only one who can pull yourself out of these visions. Only you."

Will held on to the quiet conviction in that voice.

Somehow, he had to beat back these visions, to turn away from from them -- or confront them, and slay the proverbial dragons on his own terms.

Hannibal couldn't do it for him. It had been stupid to come here, idiotic to try to reach out for someone else. He couldn't turn to other people for help with his own personal demons. He could talk about them, but he couldn't depend on anyone else to save him from them.

No, he could only accomplish that for himself. And as frightening as it was, he had to face those demons on his own if he wanted to put them to rest once and for all.

But at the moment, he didn't feel strong enough to do that.

"If I could stop the sleepwalking, then I could stop seeing things like this," he murmured, hoping that his words were true. "That's where I've got to start."

"I'm not entirely sure that it starts with the sleepwalking, Will," Hannibal said, his tone thoughtful. "I'm not entirely sure where this frightening vision of yours started. But wherever it did, the reason for it is buried in the recesses of your mind. You have to find where it is."

Will shook his head, feeling frustrated. "And how am I supposed to do that? You're the psychiatrist. You're the one who should be able to pull it out into the open."

Hannibal shook his head, leaning back and crossing his arms over his chest. "No, Will, I can't do that for you. I can help you search for the origins of what you see, but I cannot. coax it out. You are the one who has to face that vision, and come to terms with it."

He was right. Will knew he was right. But still, he wanted Hannibal to be the one to save him. He didn't want to face that frightening ..... thing all alone.

But he really didn't have a choice, did he?

His mind had created whatever he was seeing, and it was his mind that had to face that monster of his dreams. He had to save himself. He had to do it alone.

Will sighed, closing his eyes and letting his head loll back, rolling from side to side as though there was a cramp in his neck. There wasn't, but he had to do something to try to relax, to escape the pounding that was starting to throb in the back of his mind.

He would have to save himself. There was no depending on anyone else, not even Hannibal. The next time he went back into his dreams, he would have to be more .... assertive.

There was no telling what he would find there.

Would that vision be ready for him? Would it somehow know that he was going to confront it, and would it be prepared to do battle, teeth and claws at the fore? He hoped not. That wasn't something that he was ready to deal with.

All he could do was hope that the vision wouldn't come back to him too soon.