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Title: Seeing Clearly
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: 10, Weakness
Author's Note: Sequel to "All For the Better."
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 couldn't let himself show any sign of weakness. If he did, then the wolves would be at his throat. They would be all over him, swarming in for the kill.
He wasn't going to let anyone see a weakness. He was going to build his walls so high and so strong that this time, no one would get through them. Hannibal had been able to do that before, and even Jack, in some ways. But this time, no one would see behind them.
No one was going to get into his mind again, Will promised himself.
He'd had enough of being used, enough of being treated like a plaything and not a human being. He'd had more than enough of being manipulated.
That wasn't going to happen again. He'd promised himself that he would never listen to Hannibal's lies and persuasions again, and he meant it. He wasn't going to let that monster be a weakness for him any more. He'd turn his back on any of Hannibal's blandishments.
It would be easier to do than Hannibal might anticipate.
After all, he knew now that he wasn't facing a man, but a monster of the highest degree. There was nothing even remotely human about Hannibal Lecter.
Oh, he might look human. But once you stripped away the masks, the protective covering, all that was left was a monstrous reptilian .... thing.
He could never look at Hannibal as a man again.
Now he was nothing but a loathsome creature, the embodiment of evil. Will marveled that he hadn't been able to see it before, that he hadn't had some inkling of the kind of unrepentant evil that lurked beneath the mask of urbane charm.
But somehow, for some reason, he hadn't. His empathy had failed him there, maybe because it was simply too close to the source of that evil.
Still, he saw clearly now. And he would never be fooled again.
He wasn't going to let Hannibal's words, no matter what they might be, get inside his head. Hannibal would never manipulate him again; he would never take Will's weaknesses and use them against him. He'd gotten away with it once, but Will was older and wiser now.
Hannibal would never be allowed to put him through such hell again. It had been done once, and that was one too many times.
Never again. This time, he was sure of himself.
Will took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. He was going to speak to Hannibal in just a few hours, for the first time since all of this had happened. And this time, all of his armor would be in place. There would be no chink of weakness showing through unprotected. Not now, and not ever.
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