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Title: Shadow on the Moon
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Life in A Cage."
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.
***This might very well be the most dangerous thing he'd ever tried to do.
Making Hannibal believe that he was turning into a monster wasn't going to be easy, and Will doubted that he had the acting ability to pull it off.
But he had to try. If he didn't, then he and Jack would lose their best chance to catch Hannibal, to make him admit to the things that he'd done so that Will could arrest him. This might be the only way of finally putting him behind bars, where he belonged.
Will wasn't going to turn his back on that chance. He wanted to see Hannibal in jail, wanted him put away where he could never harm anyone again.
Doing that wouldn't be easy, but they would manage it somehow. He just had to be good enough at what he was doing to make Hannibal actually believe that he was changing. He should be able to do that. He was good at dissembling, always had been.
But Hannibal was good at seeing behind masks, ripping away veneers to expose what was underneath. It was more or less his job, after all.
And Will wasn't sure that this wouldn't change him, in some ways.
He didn't want to change. He didn't want to be anything like Hannibal. It made him feel queasy and sick to think that he could ever do the things that Hannibal did.
Yet he was going to have to pretend that he could do those things -- and what was more, he'd have to act as though he actually enjoyed them. That was the part that he wasn't sure he could pull off; it might be too much for him, in the end.
He was going to try his best, but he couldn't help but wonder if his best was going to be good enough. He'd have to be really good to fool Hannibal.
Hannibal was a psychiatrist, and it was his business to get inside people's minds and find out what made them tick. That monster had been inside his mind -- so much so that he'd managed to mess it up and cross and lot of wires pretty well.
But he was recovering from that now, Will told himself firmly. He was getting past what Hannibal had done to him, and in time, he would be able to push all of that away.
Hannibal didn't control him. He had no influence any longer.
There were times when he wondered just how far under Hannibal's evil influence he might have fallen, if it had all kept going down the path it had been on.
That path had been cut short when Hannibal had framed him to save his own skin. That was when Will had known, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Hannibal had never been his friend, that he had always been nothing more than a means to an end.
He was an experiment to Hannibal, just another victim to be used and thrown away when that bastard was done with him. Their friendship had been nothing but a lie.
Well, he had to keep perpetuating that lie now, to make Hannibal believe that he wanted to renew that false friendship. He had to seem as sincere as he possibly could.
Will shoved his hands into his pockets, scowling up at the moon that illuminated the sky. Usually, he felt a little solace from walking out in the woods around his house under the light of the moon, but tonight, doing this only brought more questions into his mind.
He wanted to be sure about what he and Jack were doing, but he wasn't. He didn't know if this would work, even though he wanted to believe with every fiber of his being that it would.
He wasn't sure about much of anything any more.
The only thing he was sure of was that Hannibal was the Chesapeake Ripper -- and that he had been eating the bodies of his victims.
Hannibal was utterly repulsive to him now, as much as he had once been fascinating and almost, in a way, seductive. All he wanted to do was run from the evil that Hannibal represented, but he couldn't do that now. He had to stick around and see his plan through to the end.
A shadow passed over the moon, making Will look up again. The bright illumination had disappeared; he was now surrounded by pitch darkness.
There were still a few stars in the sky, twinkling high overhead, but they couldn't show him his way home. Well, he didn't really need that, did he? Will asked himself. He knew how to get home from the path he was on; he'd walked this way hundreds of times.
Still, the fact that the shadow on the moon had taken away all the light from the night sky, save for those tiny pinpricks of stars, felt ominous, like a foreshadowing.
That thought made him shiver and look around himself nervously.
Maybe it was time he got back home, fed the dogs, made himself something to eat, and settled down with a book. Or even a movie, or a tv show.
Will doubted that he would be able to sleep much tonight; he had too much on his mind, too many thoughts whirling through his brain, traveling far too fast for him to keep up with them. His mind was working overtime, and he didn't think it would slow down any time soon.
He needed to get back to the house, but he would wait for a few moments longer and see if the shadow on the moon would move on. He hoped that it would.
When it did, only a few seconds later, Will felt his heart lift. It was like some kind of cosmic sign that the shadow on his own soul would soon lift, that they would be able to snare Hannibal in a trap that he wouldn't be able to escape from, and all of this would be over soon.
He turned to head back to the house, a new hope surfacing within him. He and Jack would make this work, and they would succeed in their objective.
Hannibal's days of freedom were numbered.
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