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Title: So Many Secrets
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #405, Meal
Author's Note: One-shot.
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 enjoyed cooking for Will.

Hannibal smiled as he looked around his kitchen, trying to decide what to make for dinner. He had reluctantly decided not to serve any of his more, well, unusual cuisine to his boyfriend. Not yet. That would take time, and he'd have to ease Will into it.

Of course, Will wouldn't know what he was eating, Hannibal thought with a wry smile. And he never would. He would simply assume that it was "regular" food.

Will would never know some of the secrets he kept. Those secrets weren't something that he could ever reveal to his boyfriend; they would have to stay hidden if he wanted to keep his Will by his side, which he most certainly did.

But still, he liked cooking for the young man, even if he couldn't use his considerable talents in the kitchen in the way that he most preferred.

Ah, what would be on the menu tonight? He knew the foods that Will liked; but he was going to give his young lover something different tonight. It would be along the lines of the food that he was used to, but much better prepared, and more attractively served.

He had just the thing, he thought with a smile.

Braised lamb shanks with carmelized onions and shallots. It would be a meal that Will would enjoy, he was sure, and one that he liked to prepare.

Not one of his more esoteric meals, unfortunately, Hannibal thought as he took the meat from the fridge and began to prepare it. But real lamb this time. He kept that sort of food around, along with his more, as he thought of them, personalized dishes.

He was going to enjoy spending time with Will tonight, having a nice dinner and then making love to the young man. It would be a relaxing evening for them both.

Will had been much less than relaxed lately, he thought with a sigh. He was spending more and more time on this Chesapeake Ripper case, without realizing that the man he had taken into his bed -- and hopefully, into his heart as well -- was the one he was searching for.

He had been searching so assiduously for the Ripper for so long that he was now unaware to see what was right in font of his face.

And he would never know, Hannibal told himself.

There were so many secrets that he had to keep hidden, but to keep Will by his side and in his arms, he could manage that.

He wasn't going to risk his relationship with Will by being careless, or letting anything slip. Will was exactly where Hannibal wanted him at this point.

He cared deeply for his young lover, more than he ever had for anyone. And though he had to keep his own secrets from Will, he couldn't help hoping that a day might come in the future when he could let all pretenses drop and simply be who he was.

Would Will be able to accept that person? Or would be be horrified, repulsed, and turn the other way? Would be stay, or would he run?

Hannibal sighed softly as those thoughts ran through his head, pushing them away firmly and concentrating more on preparing the meal.

He didn't need to think about those things, not now. Anything of that sort was far into the future -- and he had no idea if it would actually happen. He might not ever reveal his true self to Will. He might decided to hold his secrets close forever, and never let them out.

It would be a shame, really, because it would mean that he and Will wouldn't share everything. But very few relationships shared completely, at any rate.

He didn't know anyone who didn't have secrets they kept, even from their significant others. He wouldn't be the only one who had ever done so.

Everyone had to keep a few secrets in their lives.

Of course, his secrets were more .... well, intense than most people's were. And he knew that those secrets could very well cost him his relationship with Will.

Which was why he wasn't going to tell Will any of those secrets -- at least, not unless his young lover at some point showed signs of being able to forgive him for the things he'd done. Though really, he didn't think there was any need for forgiveness.

He'd done things that people might consider terrible, but for him, they were things that he'd had to do. He didn't regret a single one of them.

Those things had been intrinsic to the survival of the person he was. He'd made the choice to do them, and he wasn't going to plead forgiveness for them. He regretted nothing; he wasn't going to act contrite and put forth a pretense that he was remorseful.

Why should he pretend? He was who and what he was, and he was fine with that. His only regret was that Will might not be.

But Will would never know, unless he chose to reveal.

He would eventually begin preparing his "special" meals for Will, the ones that he ate himself. Slowly, he would acclimatize Will to his way of life -- and maybe, just maybe, one day in the future, he would be able to share his secrets with his lover.

Hannibal hoped that day would come -- but if it didn't, he would still be content, as long as he managed to keep Will by his side.

Life without Will was something that he couldn't imagine, something that he didn't want to think about. That really wouldn't be much of a life, would it? Not now that he had found Will and knew what it was like to love someone and want to constantly be with them.

He moved around the kitchen, turning on the stove, gathering the ingredients he would need to prepare the meal. It was like a dance, this ritual of cooking.

He would let this ritual of making a meal soothe him and push away the thoughts he'd had on his mind up until this moment, Hannibal told himself firmly. He would think of Will, and the evening they would spend together. The future would take care of itself.

Though he did intend to give it a firm push in the right direction.