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Title: Target on His Back
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Bad Reception."
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.
"In time I'll heal, Jack." Will's voice was flat, uncompromising.
"Yes, in time you will," Jack replied, a frown furrowing his brow. "And that time isn't now. You're not going to go after Hannibal, Will. You're not in any shape to be out in the field again yet."
"You're letting me go to crime scenes when you need me," Will pointed out, his own scowl matching Jack's. "You use my .... talents when you need them. So there's no reason why you can't let me go out there with the team that's looking for Hannibal. There'll be a lot of people who have my back."
Will knew that he was being unreasonable, but he suddenly felt the need to do something more than merely sit around and wait for Hannibal to be apprehended.
He wanted to be part of the team that caught him. Ever since that phone call three days ago, he couldn't help feeling that if he didn't do something, Hannibal was going to have the upper hand -- and that he might be caught unawares again, just as he had when Hannibal had gutted him with that evil little knife.
He didn't want to be in that position again. He didn't want to be seen as a victim, or to think of himself as being one. He wanted to be the one in control, the one who wielded the upper hand for once.
This wasn't the way to do it. He knew that. But he had to try.
He couldn't let Jack think that he would just sit back and wait for Hannibal to attack him again. That phone call had given him proof that Hannibal certainly wasn't letting the grass grow under his feet.
Will didn't doubt for one moment that his nemesis was coming after him, and he wasn't going to make an easy target for Hannibal to get to. He was doing all that he could to be more vigilant than usual, and he had even accepted a guard on his house around the clock, even when he wasn't there.
He wasn't entirely comfortable with knowing that cops were watching his home, but it did make him feel safer, even if he hated to admit that fact.
He'd told himself that it was a good idea, not only to keep himself as safe as possible, but to be sure that the dogs weren't harmed, either. They were a part of his family, too.
But was he only fooling himself? He knew from bitter experience just how easy it was for Hannibal to slip around guards. He'd seen visceral proof of that before, at several of the murder scenes that Hannibal had left behind in his grisly work. Bodyguards weren't going to keep him safe if Hannibal was determined to end him.
That scar on his belly was more proof of that fact that if Hannibal really wanted to get to him and harm him, then he'd manage to do it. A determined Hannibal was .... well, unstoppable.
But Will wasn't going to put a target on his back and make himself a sitting duck.
"He's already left a mark on you, Will, one that'll be with you for the rest of your life," Jack said softly. "You could have been killed. You're my friend. I don't want to take a chance on losing you like that."
Was Jack concerned for his friend -- or for his pet freak who brought him so much acclaim within the FBI for solving crimes? Will asked himself. He was almost ashamed for thinking of Jack in that way -- after all, this man had stuck his neck out to help Will before, and had nearly lost his own life in the process.
His experiences had made him cynical to the point where he now found it hard to trust anyone, even his friends. He really should lose that attitude; he needed all the friends he could get at this point.
"I know." Will's own voice was soft, almost apologetic. "But I can't just sit around and wait for him to come to me, Jack. That's the worst thing I could possibly do. I feel like it's what he expects. He thinks that I"m going to feel guilty about 'betraying' him, and that I'll offer myself up as a sacrifice on his altar."
Jack's lips tightened, his scowl becoming even more pronounced. "Well, that's not going to happen, Will, no matter what he might think. We're going to catch him, and this time, you will not be used as bait."
Will heaved a sigh, then nodded slowly, reluctantly.
He was still healing. He couldn't take the risk of setting that healing back by trying to confront Hannibal, either on his own or with others. He was still weak, at least in the physical sense.
But he would heal in time, just as he'd told Jack. And then he would be able to stand face-to-face with Hannibal, look him in the eye, and arrest the psychotic, murderous bastard. He would be able to put Hannibal behind bars, where he belonged, and feel that it was a job well done.
He lived for that time. He was just waiting for the day when he would be completely healed, and that confrontation could happen, with him being the one to come out on top.
He might have to wait a while, but he would have his revenge.
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