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Title: Start of the Breakdown
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #260, Break
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 wasn't the way he'd planned for things to work out, Hannibal thought with a frown. He wasn't happy with this at all. He had planned to be the one who broke Will down, one little piece at a time. He hadn't thought that someone else would take that away from him.

Will was more broken than he'd ever seen him; he didn't like that fact. There was no satisfaction in it for him; he couldn't congratulate himself on a job well done.

And as well, there was that disturbing feeling he'd had when Will had been a captive in that man's clutches, that feeling that Will was more important to him than he should be. Try as he might, he couldn't shake that feeling, couldn't push it away.

It was disturbing to feel that control was slipping away from him.

He hadn't been in control when that man had taken Will prisoner. He'd had to dance to someone else's tune, and he hadn't liked that at all. It had been the last thing he wanted to do, but he had been forced into it by circumstances outside of his control.

That was when he felt at the greatest disadvantage, when he couldn't control all that went on around him. It was a feeling that enraged him; how dare the world, or anyone in it, deny control to Hannibal Lecter? He had a right to that control.

It still felt as though control was slipping away from him, which was one reason he had insisted that Will stay here during his convalescence. Of course, it had been the right decision; Will needed to be with someone who could take care of him.

If he was alone in his house all the way out in Wolf Trap, he would be alone if anything else happened and he needed help. Hannibal couldn't allow that.

Did he only think that way because Will had somehow become precious to him, more so than he had ever thought anyone could be? That idea made him frown; he had never let anyone get that close to him before, and he hadn't intended on doing so now.

But Will was a part of him, whether he wanted to admit it or not.

That seemed to be an irrefutable fact. He couldn't deny that he was responsible for Will, in ways that he hadn't thought he would be when their relationship had started. It wasn't that he couldn't take on that kind of responsibility, but more that he hadn't expected to.

Still, this might be an excellent way to break Will down further, to bring the boy even more under his power. He was already more than halfway there; this incident would have weakened his will quite a bit, and it would be child's play to manipulate him.

Hannibal wasn't entirely sure of just how he would break Will, only that he would. The fact that the young man was dependent on him at the moment was a stroke of good luck; it would be much easier to keep Will under his thumb here in his own home.

Much harder to do if he'd been separated from Will by the miles between Baltimore and Wolf Trap. But he wouldn't have allowed that to happen.

No, he was going to maintain control.

But could that control slip when Will was so closely under his supervision?

That thought gave him pause, made him wonder. He had to question his own responses to having Will so close; could he hold back the impulses that drew him to Will? Was it dangerous for him to have Will here, so closely under his care?

He was starting to care more for Will than he'd ever believed possible. If Will stayed here for any length of time, those feelings had the chance to grow and develop. If they did, then he might not be able to maintain the control that he so prized.

If he didn't have that control, then he wouldn't be able to bring himself to break Will further than he was broken already. That didn't bode well for the future.

His control required a bit of distance, and now, he'd made sure that he wouldn't have that. If he didn't keep at least a bit of distance between himself and Will, then he would give in to those more tender feelings he was already starting to harbor for the young man.

Breaking Will would be easy. But he could also break a part of himself in the process, and that wasn't what he had intended to do.

It would be far too easy to give in to those softer feelings.

He'd already done that once, hadn't he? When he had knelt on the cold floor of that basement room with Will in his arms, begging his young lover not to die, his soul had reached out to Will. Those softer feelings had been in evidence, front and center.

He had never intended that, never thought it could happen. He had known that a fierce desire raged within him where Will was concerned, but until that moment, he hadn't really understood that the desire carried with it feelings that he couldn't put a name to.

What he was proposing to do now could be dangerous to his own well-being. He knew that Will wouldn't discover any of his secrets; that wasn't what he was worried about. What worried him was that he could become emotionally entangled.

Hannibal sighed softly, closing his eyes and raising a hand to his head. This was giving him a headache; the repercussions were something he didn't want to think about.

He had to think about them at some point, especially with Will here in his home. He was drawing closer to the boy with each passing day, and the frantic thoughts that had gone through his mind in those moments when he'd believed Will was dead proved it.

He didn't want to be that close. It was too dangerous.

Being physically close was fine; it didn't bother him to be naked with Will, no barriers between their bodies. Ah, but emotional closeness was something else entirely. He couldn't afford that. He couldn't let himself become too close to Will in those terms.

If he did, then he would be surrendering to a part of himself that he didn't want to give any sort of control to. It would weaken him to do so.

One thing that he would never be was weak. Never.

He would have to use this time to build up a resistance to Will's charms, to shore up whatever weaknesses he might have concerning his young lover. He would have to remind himself that Will was not his equal, but his experiment. Nothing more.

Yes, they were friends, he supposed -- if one could be friends with one's lover. And he could readily admit that he cared about Will in some ways. He would hate to see anything happen to Will; he wouldn't want the boy's presence removed from his life.

When something fatal and final did happen to Will, it would be because Hannibal had orchestrated that fate and carried it out.

At this point, Will was already broken in so many ways. It would be easy to break him down further, until his dependence on Hannibal was complete. Then, and only then, could he begin to piece Will back together as he wanted him to be.

That would be a fascinating process.

But first, the work of breaking Will had to begin. It was almost a pity to do so; Will had a spirit that wouldn't be broken easily, and Hannibal almost hated to think of taking that away from him, of turning him into no more than a puppet for his own desires.

One of the things he liked most about Will was the fact that young man had a core of inner strength. Will didn't give up without a fight; that was what made him worthy of being with Hannibal. Breaking him wouldn't be an easy process.

He'd already had some help with that, though it hadn't been looked for. He still wasn't happy that someone else had done part of his work for him, but he would adjust.

This would still be a painstaking process, Hannibal told himself, a small smile on his lips. He would have plenty of time to facilitate the start of the breakdown; and by the time he was finished with Will, he would be exactly where Hannibal had wanted him all along.