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Title: None Too Soon
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Who Said What Now, tv_universe
Prompt: "I'm not about the money." -- Greg Sanders, CSI
Author's Note: One-shot.
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.


"I got a really interesting job offer today," Will said as he leaned back on the couch with a sigh. "I kind of wonder what it would be like to live in California. It'd be a lot warmer than it is here in the winter, that's for sure. The dogs would probably like it better, too."

Hannibal looked up, a frown creasing his brow. "A job offer?" he asked, his gaze intent on Will's face. "What sort of a job offer? Something to do with the government?"

Will nodded in the affirmative. "Yeah. Still working for the FBI, but in a smaller capacity. More teaching and less field work." He sighed again, closing his eyes. "Sometimes I think that would be better for me. It'd be a lot less stressful, I know that."

"Yes, it would," Hannibal told him. "It would give you more peace of mind."

His mind was racing, his heart beating erratically in his chest. What was he going to do if Will took another job and moved away from the area? He couldn't have this young man all the way across the country from him. Not now. Not where his plans were moving ahead so well.

If Will was seriously thinking about taking another job far away from here, he would have to be talked out of it. It was as simple as that.

Will could not be allowed to go away. He belonged here, belonged with Hannibal. He was starting to break down in just the way that Hannibal had planned; it would be too much of a risk to let him go. And where would he find anyone else as perfect for him as Will was?

No, this had to be nipped in the bud, and quickly. Will Graham was not to slip through his fingers. Not now, not at any time. He had finally found the perfect mate, even if they hadn't been together yet, and Hannibal was determined not to lose him.

"I suppose they've offered you a great deal of money," Hannibal murmured.

"I'm not about the money," Will told him, shaking his head. "That doesn't matter to me. What I think is important is that I get some peace of mind -- and as long as I'm trying to get into the minds of killers, then I'm not going to be able to do that. Ever."

Will certainly had the truth of the matter there, Hannibal thought to himself. As long as he continued with the job he was doing, he would never find peace. It was impossible.

He didn't want Will to find that peace. He needed the young man to be confused and off balance; he needed Will to lean on him, to trust him, to need him. That need was what would eventually bring Will to his bed, where he should be.

If Will found that peace of mind, then he would have no more need for Hannibal in his life, and Hannibal would have to find a way to perpetuate their friendship without the guise of their psychiatric sessions. It would be that much harder for him to get Will where he wanted him.

He wanted Will in his bed. And he would get him there.

But not if Will moved across the country to take another job. He had to stop this somehow, though at this particular moment, he had no idea how it could be done if Will had already made up his mind about it. He would have to tread very carefully.

"Do you think that you would be able to find peace of mind in California?" Hannibal asked, almost holding his breath as he waited for Will's answer.

Slowly, Will shook his head. "No, I don't," he said, his voice very soft and a little hesitant. "I don't think I'll find any peace of mind anywhere as long as I'm doing what I do for a living. It's not where I am. It's what I do. And I can't stop doing that."

"Why not?" Hannibal asked him, leaning back in his chair and studying the young man. This was becoming quite an interesting conversation. He was curious as to just why Will felt that he couldn't stop doing the job that the FBI had given him if he had such misgivings about it.

"Because I do some good in the world," Will said, his voice growing stronger. "Because I help people."

Hannibal nodded, steepling his fingers under his chin as he studied Will. "Yes, you do. And that is a very good reason to keep doing this. But you also have to ask yourself this question, Will -- what sort of an effect is all of this having on you?"

Will sighed, looking towards the window. "Not a good one," he finally said with a shrug. "But it's not like I can just make up my mind to stop. I'm obligated."

Hannibal nodded again, pleased with Will's answer. It was concise, to the point, and honest. That was one of the things he liked the most about Will; he was invariably honest, even if he did try to beat around the bush and not answer questions that made him uncomfortable.

That honesty could be dangerous for him one day, Hannibal thought as he studied the other man. But it was something that was ingrained into Will; he wasn't the kind of person who could prevaricate well. He wasn't one who chose to play games.

Hannibal admired him for that, in a way.

"I suppose you could look at it that way," Hannibal said, keeping his voice soft and low. "You care more about others than about yourself. And you certainly don't care about the money."

Will shook his head, shrugging again. "It's not the money that's important to me. As long as I've got enough to live comfortably, then that's all I need. That's one reason I live in Wolf Trap. It's not expensive, it's out in the country, and I can have my privacy. California would change all that."

"You don't believe that you would have your required privacy there?" Hannibal was interested in what Will had to say about that. Will was a man who needed his privacy and isolation, and Hannibal had to agree with him -- if he moved somewhere else, they would be in short supply.

Will nodded, sighing as he did so. "Yeah. That's one of the reasons I decided against it. That just doesn't feel like it'd be the right place for me."

Hannibal could feel his heart leap in his chest. So Will had already made the choice.

He hadn't thought that he would feel so relieved. Will wasn't going to leave; he wouldn't have to summon all of his energies to talk the young man into staying. There had to be another, more complex, reason behind Will choosing to stay here, but he would pursue that later.

For the moment, he was simply glad that Will was staying. It would have been a terrible imposition to try to talk the boy into remaining here, but he would have done it. Somehow, he couldn't help feeling that there was much more to Will's decision that he had put into words.

Did Will feel the same attraction he did? That was undeniable. It was something that neither of them could fight against; Hannibal didn't want to try. He had wanted Will at first sight, and his desire had only continued to grow stronger with time.

It was only a matter of time until Will felt the same way. And if he didn't, then Hannibal would work towards making his own desire mirror within Will.

It might take a while, but he would accomplish that goal.

"I think I'll be a lot happier if I stay here," Will continued, breaking into Hannibal's thoughts with his words. "I'm not about the money, but maybe I can get Jack to give me a raise. That'd be nice. And he's got to know that it would go a long way towards keeping me here."

"I'm sure he'll do that once he realizes just what he could lose," Hannibal murmured, unsure of just what the right thing to say would be. He didn't often feel that way.

"Oh, he already knows that," Will answered with a laugh. "He doesn't want to lose me. And ...." His voice trailed off for a moment before he sighed and spoke again. "Honestly, I don't want to leave. I'd miss this place. And .... some of the people, too."

"Oh?" That caught Hannibal's attention. He hadn't expected that from Will.

"Yeah," Will said softly, leaning forward, his gaze locking with Hannibal's. "I would. Some of the people around here have become really special to me. Leaving them would be impossible." He looked directly into Hannibal's eyes as he spoke, and Hannibal couldn't hold back his satisfied smile.

"I'm sure they would miss you just as much," he said, reaching for Will's hand. From here, it would all be easy; his plans were finally starting to surge into motion. And it was none too soon.