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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #517, Threat
Author's Note: Sequel to "Normal Behavior."
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.
***By the time he arrived at Hannibal's house, Will felt a little calmer, but he was still shaken. He needed to talk to Hannibal about what he had seen today, and the suspicions that had begun to grow in his mind. He needed to get those thoughts out, to make them a reality.
If he didn't talk to someone about this, he would drive himself insane. And Hannibal was the only person he really trusted, the only one he could talk to.
Had anyone else even noticed that the corpses piling up behind this killer all looked like him? He didn't think so. If they had, they were keeping it to themselves, probably in the hope of not upsetting him. Had they thought he somehow wouldn't notice?
Will took a deep breath, trying to steady his hands.
He shouldn't let himself get upset about this. After all, he was protected. Yes, he lived alone, but it would be easy enough to spend nights in the city after he'd fed the dogs at night and let them out for their run. He didn't have to be alone and vulnerable.
He had access to protection. He didn't have to feel as if he was a sitting duck, lined up in crosshairs. He wasn't a target. He couldn't be.
But this threat felt more real than anything he'd dealt with since he'd been working in this capacity with the FBI. This was the first time he'd seen corpses that looked so much like him; it was terrifying to think that they were nothing more than a substitute for him.
That thought was terrifying. After all the things he'd seen in his line of work, the last thing he wanted was to end up like one of the corpses he viewed nearly every day. He didn't want to think of himself as being a victim, as being one of those corpses to be stared at.
It seemed that was what this particular killer was after -- to make him one of his victims, or at least to make him feel like one. Will took a deep breath and squared his shoulders, opening the car door and getting out, then slamming it closed behind him.
He wasn't going to let himself be forced into the role of victim.
Whatever this person intended, it wasn't going to happen. He was stronger than that. He wasn't the kind of person who was going to fall apart because he realized that a killer was gunning for him. He wasn't someone who turned and ran from his fears.
If that was what this killer was expecting, then he would get a very rude awakening. He wasn't going to run away from this situation, or stop what he was doing with the FBI. He was going to find this bastard and make sure that he was put behind bars.
It might not be safe, but then, safe wasn't something that Will chose to cling to. He would take risks when he felt that those risk were worth taking to bring justice.
He was no coward, and he wasn't going to become one now. If this bastard wanted him to cower in fear and try to hide, then he wasn't going to get his wish, Will told himself firmly. He would stand tall and put up a fight -- and he would see that justice prevailed.
That thought was followed by a soft sigh and a wry smile as he bounded up the steps to Hannibal's front door. It was easy to talk like that, harder to actually follow through.
He rang the doorbell, listening for footsteps inside the house.
Will closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. He wasn't going to be a babbling mess when he talked to Hannibal. He wasn't going to break down and tell the other man that he was afraid for his life. He was going to be calm, cool, and collected.
When the door opened to reveal Hannibal standing there, he tried to smile, but he knew that it was wobbly around the edges. "Hi. I thought I'd come by a little early for our session tonight. Work was kind of disturbing today. Hope you don't mind."
"Not at all," Hannibal said, stepping back so that Will could enter the house. He walked into the foyer, holding back a sigh of relief. He felt safer behind a closed door; no one could see into the dim interior of the foyer. No one could watch him in here.
Well, they could if the curtains were open in Hannibal's office, which he had no doubt they would be. They always were, in the daytime.
He wasn't going to ask Hannibal to close the curtains. That would be rude. But he wanted to. He wanted to ask Hannibal to let him hide here, without any explanations that would make him sound as though he might be going completely off his rocker.
But he couldn't do that. He had to be calm about this, to think rationally.
Hannibal led the way into his office, turning to face Will once they were both standing by his desk. "What is this all about, Will?" You look as though you've had some kind of a shock. Your eyes are a bit unfocused, and your tone is shaky. Even your hands are shaking."
Will looked down at his hands, surprised to see that Hannibal was right. They were shaking; he didn't know how to make that trembling stop.
How was he going to explain this threat to Hannibal without sounding as if he was merely being paranoid? He didn't quite completely believe it himself; it felt unreal, as though it was somehow removed from him. But it was very real, and he didn't want it to get worse.
How many more people would die because the killer wasn't able to get to him? How many more men would he use as a substitute for the one he really wanted -- and how long would it be before his rage finally led him to lash out at the man he truly intended to kill?
"I ...." His voice trailed off into nothingness; he didn't know how to start this conversation, how to say what he needed to say without sounding like he was going insane. The words were there, in his head, but they refused ot come out in any kind of coherent order.
"Sit down." Hannibal led Will to the couch, waiting for the younger man to sit down before sitting beside him and turning to gaze at him. "Now, tell me. What's wrong?"
Suddenly, the words were there, pouring off his tongue.
"The corpses in this case we're working on all look like me." There. The words were out, and he didn't sound crazy. Did he? He hoped not. "I just noticed that today. It makes me feel like this killer may be targeting me, in an obscure way. And it's fucking terrifying."
"Of course it is." There was no censure or disbelief in Hannibal's voice; he merely nodded and reached out to take both of Will's hands in his own, clasping them. "This man must be caught be fore he kills again. And before he comes after you."
"Th-that's what I'm afraid of," Will whispered, letting his fear surface at last. "That he's going to come after me before we can catch him. I'm not ready to face something like that. I don't want to be the target of a killer. I've already been inside his head, and it's not a pretty place."
"I wouldn't expect it to be," Hannibal said, his tone dry. "But he will be found, and in the meantime, you'll be protected. I'll make sure of that."
Just being here with Hannibal was already making him feel better. Will took a deep breath, wanting to ask his lover a question, but unable to get the words out yet again. He didn't know how to ask for what he needed, and somehow, it didn't seem like the right time.
Hannibal stood up, still holding Will's hands and pulling him to his feet as well.
"Let's go upstairs and go to bed," he said softly, his gaze riveted on Will's face. "I think you need that, Will. I think you need to be able to let everything around you go, to forget about it for a while and merely feel. I'm more than willing to help you do that."
Will could only nod, amazed yet again at how Hannibal almost seemed to be able to read his mind at times. That was just what he needed, some time in their own private world, a chance to push away all of the realities that he didn't want to deal with at the moment.
The threat to him was all too real, Will thought as he followed Hannibal up the stairs to the master bedroom. But he would think about that threat later. For now, he wanted to spend the night in his lover's arms, and let whatever might happen tomorrow come when it would.
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