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Title: The Seduction of Madness
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #581, Madness
Author's Note: Sequel to "When You Go."
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.


Hannibal was mad. He had to be.

Will sighed softly, opening his eyes to look up at the ceiling above his bed. It was yet another night when sleep eluded him, when all he could think of was putting Hannibal behind bars.

The man wasn't sane. The hideousness of the Chesapeake Ripper murders was proof of that. Will wondered if someone who could do what he did had ever been sane.

He didn't think so. He didn't think any mind that could produce the horrors that bespoke the Ripper murders could have ever come from a place of sanity and balance. And he was sure that Hannibal had only grown more insane over the years that he'd been practicing his grisly trade.

How could anyone who killed and ate other people be classified as anything but insane? Will shuddered at the thought of what Hannibal had become.

And that bastard wanted Will to become just like him. That thought not only brought a shudder, but a sudden reflexive urge to vomit that he could hardly control.

Will closed his eyes, taking several deep breaths until the urge passed.

He wasn't going to lose control. So far, he had kept himself inside the parameters that he needed to stay in to pull off this deception, to make Hannibal believe that he was changing.

How much longer could he keep doing this? He was sure that he could feel himself becoming more seduced by what Hannibal seemed to offer him -- the chance to indulge all of his wildest fantasies with no consequences, to be able to do whatever he wanted without feeling that he had to pay for it.

That was madness in itself, thinking in that way. There were always consequences to any actions -- even if they didn't happen to fall on the perpetrator of those actions.

It was a madness that he didn't want to fall into.

Yet it was so seductive, the idea of being so completely free from his conscience. Hannibal insisted that it was what held him back, that he needed to rid himself of it.

But if he did, then he would become like Hannibal -- and that was the last thing he wanted, Will told himself firmly. He was nothing like the monster he was trying to put behind bars.

Or was he? He couldn't deny that a part of him had wanted to kill Randall Tier; it hadn't just been about his own self-preservation. He hadn't really enjoyed killing someone, but it had made him feel free, in a strange way. It was disconcerting to realize that about himself.

He didn't want to be like Hannibal. He didn't want any part of himself to be linked to that monster; he didn't want to think of himself as a killer. He couldn't fall into that trap.

If he did, then he might start equating himself with Hannibal -- and he would be exactly where his so-called "mentor" wanted him to be, with the walls closing in around him.

The last thing he needed was to start thinking of himself in the way that Hannibal wanted him to -- and he was finding it harder and harder to avoid doing so. It was such a seductive path to take, and Hannibal knew exactly how to draw him down that path, beckoning him onward into a dark and frightening place.

Dark and frightening, yes .... but fascinating at the same time. A place where he could indulge himself, where he could let go of reality and be exactly what he wanted to be .....

No. No, Will's mind screamed at him. That wasn't he wanted to be. He wasn't a killer. He wasn't like Hannibal. They weren't the same, not in any way.

Going down that path led to pure and utter madness.

Once he took the first few steps down that path, there would be no turning back. Will knew himself well enough to know that he wouldn't have the strength to turn back once those first few steps were taken.

He knew that a part of him wanted to give in to that madness, and that was the side of himself that he had to struggle against. The side of himself that wanted to simply give in, to let everything flow over him easily, to not have to fight to withstand the dark side of his nature any longer.

He couldn't let himself do that. He was better than that, Will told himself firmly. He couldn't give in to that darkness; if he did, then Hannibal would win.

That could never be allowed to happen, no matter what the cost.

He had to keep himself from falling into that seductive trap that Hannibal was trying to set for him. He couldn't let his guard down, even for one moment, for fear of losing himself.

The madness that wrapped itself around Hannibal was repugnant to him. Never in a million years would he want to succumb to that kind of madness. He'd kill himself first.

Will swallowed hard as that thought crossed his mind; ever since he'd put this daring plan into motion, he'd had dreams of killing himself, knowing that he couldn't possibly capture Hannibal, that something would go wrong, that he would be defeated. A part of him despaired of ever being the victor in this game.

But he couldn't let himself become discouraged. If he did, then he would make mistakes, and his life wouldn't be worth anything. Hannibal would snuff out that life in a second.

He wasn't about to let that happen. When he decided to go out, it would be in his own way, or in the line of duty. It wouldn't be because a psychopath wanted it to happen.

He would see this through. He wouldn't give in, either to madness or despair.

Will could feel that madness reaching for him, trying to enfold hm, to turn him over and wrap him up like a fly caught in the sticky strands of a spider's web.

That madness wouldn't catch him up in its smothering grasp. He wouldn't let it. Though it might be hard to keep himself safely away from it due to his proximity to Hannibal, he would stay on his guard, and he wouldn't let himself be swept away by that seductive beckoning, no matter how tempting it might be.

Closing his eyes, Will turned over onto his side, trying to push his thoughts away and clear his mind. He needed to sleep so that he would be clear and focused when he saw Hannibal tomorrow.

But sleep wouldn't come easily for him tonight, or on any other night.

He would be trying to avoid the seduction of madness, both in reality and in his dreams. Though in his dreams it was harder to avoid, the madness reaching out for him with enticing arms.

He wouldn't let himself be caught in its seductive coils, Will thought as sleep began to overcome him. Not this night, or any other. He would stay out of its grasp somehow, no matter what that might entail.