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Title: Shattered Vessel
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #111, Broken
Author's Note: Sequel to "An Unexpected Gift."
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 wasn't broken.

He refused to think like that, Will told himself as he stared into the bathroom mirror. The bruises were gone; there was no evidence left of the trauma that he'd been through, at least physically. But he knew that the inner scars would always be with him.

Will raised a hand to his chest, watching himself in the mirror. What was it about this face and this body that had made a madman want him?

He really didn't get that. He wasn't a bad-looking guy, but he didn't see anything particularly special about himself, either. Sometimes it was hard for him to understand why Hannibal wanted him. Hannibal was a man who could probably have anyone he wanted.

Yet, for some unfathomable reason, Hannibal had chosen him. And now, he was holding himself back, which wasn't fair to his lover.

He had told Hannibal that he wanted to give himself over completely, that he wanted their relationship to get back on track. But that was more easily said than done. He could plan to do that even want to do it, but he knew that it wasn't going to be easy.

Still, he wasn't broken. Not yet.

He wouldn't let himself be broken. He might have felt that way when Hannibal had brought him home after this had first happened, but he didn't any more.

Will raised his chin, almost glaring at himself in the mirror. He wasn't going to let this take over his life, or destroy it. He might have a hard road to travel as far as getting his relationship with Hannibal back to where it had been, but he could do it.

No, not back to what they had been, he corrected himself firmly. He wanted to take their relationship to another plane, to make it better than it was.

They could do that. They would do that.

After all, it wasn't just him who wanted their relationship back, who wanted to make it better. Hannibal had to want the same thing. He'd been really patient while Will had dealt with his demons, but it was time to bring that waiting to an end.

He was going to give himself to Hannibal tonight, with no hesitation, and no questions asked. He was going to put all of this behind him and move forward.

Again, more easily said than done, Will thought, biting his lip. He didn't want his resolve to falter, but there was no doubt that it was doing just that. As the evening loomed closer, the time for doing what he knew he had to do drew nearer with every passing moment.

Will smiled ruefully as a thought struck him.

Wouldn't it be almost funny if this was what finally broke him, this attempt to take their relationship back to the intimate thing it had been before?

Being kidnapped and raped hadn't broken him; it had only made him a stronger person once he had gotten past the physical trauma and let himself accept the fact that he had done what he had to do to survive. But now, it seemed that he could possibly be broken another way.

Maybe being intimate with Hannibal again, letting his boyfriend have his way with him and do whatever he wanted, would be what reduced him to shattered fragments.

Maybe this would be what finally destroyed him, what made him feel as though he was utterly broken and could never put the pieces of himself back together again. Maybe this was what it would take to reduce him to nothing more than a shattered vessel.

Will closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and trying to steady his trembling hands. No. This wasn't going to break him. This was going to make him a stronger person, make him able to go on and let himself be the person he had been moving towards being before his abduction.

Hannibal wouldn't try to break him; he knew that. Hannibal wanted to build him up and make him stronger. But he wasn't entirely sure that would happen.

He wanted to be a stronger person. He wanted to move ahead, to leave all of this behind him until it all seemed like a vague memory, as though it had happened to someone else. But at the moment, it was all still so fresh in his mind.

He still had nightmares, dreams that made him wake in the dead of night with a scream caught in his throat and his hand pressed against his chest.

Maybe it was too soon. Maybe he wasn't ready yet.

But that wouldn't be fair to Hannibal, would it? He took another deep breath, then another, trying to calm his nerves. He'd already told his lover that he wanted to give himself completely, to relinquish all control, and Hannibal had accepted those words.

There was no turning back now. He'd already made that commitment; he couldn't simply turn away and change his mind. That would only make Hannibal angry.

For all intents and purposes, he'd committed himself to moving forward. If that movement broke him, then he had only himself to blame for doing it too quickly. Hannibal had cautioned him about that, but he hadn't been able to listen. Maybe he should have.

Maybe he was expecting too much from himself.

Will gazed at himself in the mirror, at his pale face, his nude body. This was the body that Hannibal wanted, the body that he had promised to give unrestrainedly.

Could he do that? Or was he moving too quickly? Was he still too broken to think about resuming his sexual relationship with Hannibal? Was he making a mistake? There were so many questions in his mind, and he didn't have the answers to any of them.

Will sighed softly, closing his eyes to block out the sight of himself. Maybe he wasn't broken yet, but he couldn't help thinking that soon, he would be.

But he'd made the commitment. He couldn't turn back now.

If this broke him, then he would simply have to work to put the pieces back together. But somehow, he didn't think he would end up broken. He might not be stronger, but Hannibal would be careful not to break him. Hannibal would know when to pull back.

He wouldn't want a broken boyfriend, so he would be careful to make sure that he didn't push too hard or go too far, Will reasoned with himself. That made perfect sense.

He was going to put on his clothes, go downstairs, and have dinner with Hannibal -- and then later tonight, they were going to go to bed together and be sexually intimate for the first time since his abduction. It was going to be good for both of them.

Will swallowed hard, turning away from his reflection. He had to believe that. He had to believe that this was going to be easier than he thought.

He squared his shoulders, straightening up. He wasn't going to let this break him. He was going to go into it with an open mind, and he was going to enjoy it. After all, if what had already been done to him hadn't broken him, then being with the man he loved wasn't going to.

He could only hope that was the truth.