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Title: Tactical Error
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #175, Error
Author's Note: Sequel to "Rest."
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 had to be careful not to make any errors the next time he saw Hannibal. He had to make Hannibal believe that he still saw them as friends.

That wasn't going to be easy to do, Will thought with a soft sigh. Hannibal was, unfortunately, an intelligent man; it wouldn't be simple to hide the fact that everything about him repulsed Will, made him want to pull away and never look at that monstrous face again.

But he'd have to do it. He couldn't get Hannibal to slip up and make fatal admissions, or at least let a few clues slip here and there, if he didn't.

He had to pretend that still trusted Hannibal.

Will knew that he wasn't good at dissembling; trying to pretend that he still had any kind of trust in that monster was going to be the hardest thing he'd ever done.

But he had to do it. He had to make Hannibal believe that they were still friends, that there was still something there that drew them together, even after Hannibal had framed him for murder, nearly made him lose his mind, and induced potentially fatal seizures.

He hated Hannibal. He despised that bastard with every fiber of his being. But somehow, he had to act as though he didn't whenever they met.

Somehow, he had to seem as though he wasn't irrevocably changed.

How was he going to do that? Hannibal had to know that he had changed in a myriad of ways, simply by being incarcerated in a place calculated to drive him insane.

But he hadn't gone insane, Will reminded himself. He had found clarity there, away from Hannibal and all of his lies and manipulations. He had to keep telling himself that; Hannibal had made a grievous error when he'd sent Will to prison.

That repulsive bastard would discover that he'd made far too many errors, at some point. Will was going to be the winner of this game. He was determined to be the victor.

A game? No, he didn't want to think of this in that light, Will told himself. This wasn't a game. This was his life, and Hannibal would no longer be allowed to guide it.

Hannibal was no longer a part of his life.

Oh, he had to pretend that the bastard was still in life, had to force himself to act as if they were still friends. But nothing could be further from the truth.

This time, he was going to be the manipulative one. He would be devising ways to make his enemy's life fall apart, not the other way around.

He was done with Hannibal's machinations and manipulations. Never again would he believe a word that such a hideous monster said, or trust him in any way. He knew better than to do that now; he knew what being foolish enough to trust Hannibal would lead to.

There would never be trust, or any kind of friendship, between them again. He'd learned the error of his ways in believing that there ever had been.

Will Graham was finally taking his life back.

There would be no more manipulations, no more lies that he would countenance. From now on, he would never believe a single word that came out of Hannibal's mouth.

He wasn't seeing Lecter for sessions any more; that was how the beast had gotten into his head before, when he'd been stupid enough to let his guard down. He would never enter Lecter's home alone again, and that animal would never be welcome in his home.

That was how the monster had managed to induce a seizure and intubate him, then get Abigail's ear into his stomach. By being invited into his home, his sanctuary.

Well, that wasn't going to happen again. Ever.

It had been a grave error in judgment for him to ever trust Lecter. He knew that now, after traveling a long, hard road that hadn't been of his own making.

But this time around, he wasn't going to make any more tactical errors. After all, forewarned was forearmed, Will told himself firmly. He knew now just what Hannibal was, knew what kind of monstrous evil resided within that blackened, corrupt soul.

He would defeat that evil. He would send it to hell, or at least make sure that it was imprisoned behind bars, where it couldn't do any more harm.

And he would never make the error of trusting Hannibal Lecter again.