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Title: Solitary Adventurer
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Otherwordly Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: Solivagant - Wandering alone.
Author's Note: Sequel to "Shining Light."
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.
***"It would be best for you to stay here for a while, Will."
"Hannibal, you know I can't do that." Will ran a hand through his hair in frustration, shaking his head. "I have to take care of the dogs. I have personal responsibilities."
"You can always go to Wolf Trap to look after the dogs when you have finished work for the day, and then come back here to spend the evening." Hannibal's tone held concern; Will could hear it as clearly as though Hannibal had actually said that he was worried.
"Yeah, I could, but that would be a lot of extra driving when I don't need to stay here," he pointed out. "I'll be okay. I can't just run away and hide."
Hannibal sighed softly, his nod reluctant.
"No, I suppose you can't," Hannibal agreed, his gaze not wavering from Will's face. "But I don't like the idea of you being so isolated at your home."
"I'll be fine, Hannibal." Will smiled with an assurance he didn't feel, though he was sure that Hannibal knew of his fears and misgivings. "I've lived there for years, and it's my home. I've always felt safe there. I'm not going to give up my home because of some stalker."
Hannibal nodded again, but Will could see the concern in those dark eyes. "I can't make you stay where you don't want to be, Will."
"No, you can't." Will deliberately kept his tone brisk and businesslike; he didn't want to think about all of the fears that came crowding in upon him when he was in bed at night, trying to sleep and wondering if there was someone out side watching his house. Watching him.
That was ridiculous, of course. Even if the person who had obviously targeted him was outside, hiding in the woods, he couldn't see into Will's bedroom.
But it was frightening to know that they were out there.
He couldn't go wandering alone in the woods any more; it was far too dangerous with someone out there who might mean him harm. He didn't even like letting the dogs roam, even though they would probably be safe. They could protect themselves.
But what if this person had a knife or a gun? He more than likely wouldn't hesitate to hurt one of the dogs; he had to know how much Will cared for them.
Still, he couldn't keep his pets cooped up inside the house all the time. They needed to run around in the woods a couple of times a day; they were outdoor animals for the most part, even though they lived in the house. It wouldn't be right to take away their freedom.
He would simply have to trust that they could take care of themselves.
His own wanderings would have to come to an end until this person was caught and put behind bars. It was too much of a risk for him to wander around alone.
Will had always enjoyed being able to roam in the woods around his home; he knew those woods better than anyone, certainly better than someone who had probably only been watching him for a fairly short time. But he couldn't take the chance.
it would be stupid for him to put his life at risk simply because he wanted to walk in the woods. He could enjoy that simple pleasure again once his stalker was caught.
There would be no more wandering alone in the woods, especially after dark when he got home from a long day at work. He could no longer relax by doing that.
It had been a way for him to think about what had taken place during the day; walking in the woods allowed him to walk off some of the tension that he generally carried with him when he was at a crime scene, a way to relax and let it all go.
Now, that had been taken from him, and he couldn't help but feel irritated by that fact. He needed that relaxation, that getaway.
Well, he would get it back. Once this stalker was caught and put away.
Being able to wander in the woods alone had not only been a way for him to relax, but it had also been a way ot working out his thoughts, of compartmentalizing his life. He had always treasured that alone time, and now that he couldn't indulge in it, he missed it terribly.
He felt more tense lately, more nervous, and he was sure sure that it was because he hadn't had that time he needed to put everything in its proper place in his mind.
"I know that you've always enjoyed being a solitary adventurer, or a solivagant, if you will, in the place that you feel is your own." Hannibal's words broke into his thoughts again, bringing Will's gaze back to him. "But it's no longer safe for you to do that, Will."
Will nodded, sighing before he spoke again, his voice soft.
"I won't," he said, knowing that he was making a promise even as he spoke the words. "But I hate having to miss out on that. It was one of the things that kept me sane."
"Maybe that is what this person is trying to take away from you," Hannibal suggested, leaning forward and regarding Will steadily with those fathomless dark eyes. "Perhaps he wants to put you off-balance, to make you feel that you have nowhere to turn."
"He's not going to do that," Will said firmly, shaking his head. "I won't let him. I'm not going to let this undo me. I'm stronger than that."
"I hope you are, Will." Hannibal's voice was quiet, almost contemplative. "But I don't think that you should try to deal with this on your own. You have people who you can reach out to, people who will help you. Who want to help you. I am one of them."
Will nodded, sighing again. "I know you are. So is Jack. And I'm grateful for the help. But it's me that he's after, and I need to deal with that thought on my own."
Hannibal merely nodded; no more words were needed.
Will took a deep breath, pasting a smile onto his face. "Don't worry about me," he told Hannibal as he got up from his chair. "I'm not defenseless, Hannibal. I'm a trained FBI agent. I know how to handle myself. I'm not going to take any unnecessary risks."
"All right, Will. I'll try not to worry overmuch." Hannibal rose to his feet as well, a sign that their session was over. "Drive carefully on the way home."
"I will." He headed for the front door, feeling suddenly reluctant to leave the warmth and safety of this house. Maybe Hannibal was right; maybe he should stay here instead of going back to Wolf Trap. The dogs could get along without him for one night.
No. He wasn't going to do that. He wouldn't run away and cower in fear.
That would be letting the bastard win, in a way, and he wasn't going to do that. He was going to conquer his fears, and come out on the winning side of this.
He left Hannibal's house quietly, walking out to his car, looking around carefully as he got inside. There was no one that he could see who might be watching him, but in this city, there was no telling who could see him from some hidden vantage point.
He didn't intend to be a solitary adventurer tonight, he told himself. No, he would simply go home, shower, and go to bed. No wandering in the woods for him tonight.
Time enough for him to be a solivagant later, when he could do so without fear.
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