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Title: Taken Away
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Mother's Day Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: "Biology is the least of what makes someone a father." -- Oprah Winfrey
Author's Note: One-shot.
Author's Note: Sequel to "Mixed Signals."
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.
***"What kind of a father do you think you would have been?"
The words were quiet, but they seemed to cut through Will, directly to his heart. He didn't want to answer that question, didn't want to think about the girl that he could have been a father to. It hurt too much to know that she was gone.
He hadn't thought that he ever wanted to be a father; not to his own child, anyway. He would never burden any child with his empathy, in case he passed it on.
He had been through hell as a child, trying to deal with that empathy, trying not to let anyone else know that he was different. And when he'd become an adult, he had been terrified of relationships, in case he did happen to pass that "gift" on to a child.
Maybe that was why he'd ended up gay, Will thought with a sour smile. Well, that, and the fact that he just liked men and had no sexual desire for women.
Still, being a father to Abigail had been something that he'd discovered he wanted badly. It was much more simple to be a father to a teenager, a child who wasn't his by blood. He didn't have to actually be related to her to be a good father.
But that chance had been taken away, cruelly and calculatedly.
Will stared at the man behind the bars of the jail cell, looking into his eyes as though he could fathom the reasons for such barbarism in those dark depths.
"Why did you do it, Hannibal? Why did you take her life?" But even as he spoke the words, he knew the answer. Hannibal had done it simply to save his own skin, and to make it look as though Will was the guilty one. He hadn't given a damn about Abigail's life.
He might pretend to care about people, but he didn't. All Hannibal Lecter could care about was himself, and whatever monstrous agenda he had planned.
Hannibal only looked at him, his expression enigmatic.
"You know why, Will." His voice was flat and even, with no inflection of emotion. Further proof that, despite what he said, he really didn't care about what he'd done.
"We were her fathers for a short while, Will," Hannibal continued, his hands raising to clasp the bars in front of his face. "That gave us power to decide what her fate would be. I don't regret exercising that power." His tone was neutral, his eyes searching Will's face.
Will wanted to back away in horror, to deny that he'd ever thought a monster who could be so callous had been his friend, someone he could trust.
"Yes," he answered slowly. "I do. I didn't need to ask that question. I know exactly why you did it. You did it for the most cowardly of reasons. To save yourself."
And to throw the blame for Abigail's death to him, but Will wasn't going to say that out loud. They both knew what Hannibal had done -- and they both knew that, despite what he might say to the contrary, he didn't really have any regrets about his actions.
He was a monster, Will thought with a disgust. A sick, twisted thing that only masqueraded as a human being. Woe to anyone who trusted him in any way.
He himself had been lucky enough to pull back before it was too late.
But that hadn't saved Abigail, he thought sadly. If only he had known just what Hannibal really was sooner, then he might have been able to stop what had happened.
In spite of what Hannibal claimed about his so-called "feelings" for Abigail, he hadn't really been a father to her. And neither had Garrett Jacob Hobbs, her real father. Will had been more of a father, more of a mentor, than either of those monsters could ever hope to be.
"We were more her fathers than Hobbs was," Hannibal said, almost as though he had read Will's mind. "I'm rather proud of that, and you should be, too."
Will nodded again, more quickly this time.
"Biology is the least of what makes someone a father," he said, those words hanging in the air. "But you weren't a father to her, either. You might claim to be, but all you did was use her for your own ends. And you almost got away with it, you sick son of a bitch."
With those words, he walked away, leaving the room where Hannibal was imprisoned, knowing in his heart that if he stayed there a moment longer, he would break down.
Either that, or he would lunge at the thing that looked like a man who was, even now, staring at him as he left without a word, that snakelike gaze boring into his back. Will knew that he was being watched, that his nemesis expected him to turn around and look back.
But he wouldn't do that. He had no intention of giving Hannibal that satisfaction -- and he didn't want to see that hideously ugly, monstrous face again.
He kept walking, knowing that he wouldn't look back. There was nothing to see there; only the monster who had taken away his one chance to be a father, to be a mentor, and who he was glad would spend the rest of its life devoid of freedom, in a prison, where it truly belonged.
At least he had managed to achieve that much, putting this thing behind bars.
Hannibal might claim that he had wanted to be a father to Abigail, and a friend to Will, but in the end, all he had truly wanted to be was their demise.
In Hannibal's case, not only had biology not made him a father, but he was completely incapable of being a father in any other way, Will reflected. He was incapable of being anything to anyone other than a danger, and he was right where he belonged now.
In a way, he had avenged Abigail by putting Hannibal there. He could feel good about that, and at least feel that he had managed to achieve some sort of justice.
Maybe that made him a better father than he'd ever thought he could be.
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