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Title: The Wreck of the Beautiful
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Prompt: #524, Wreck
Author's Note: One-shot.
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. soar
***Hannibal didn't love him.
Hannibal was never going to love him.
Will sighed, closing his eyes tightly shut to hold back the rush of tears that he could feel rising behind them. No. He was not going to cry over this. It was stupid to cry; besides, it wouldn't do him any good. Crying wouldn't change anything.
He should have known from the beginning that Hannibal could never return his feelings. Hannibal could have anyone he wanted; he wouldn't want Will.
It was ridiculous to even hope that a man like Hannibal could be attracted to him. Of course, Hannibal hadn't said in so many words that he could never feel that way, but Will was sure that it wasn't a possibility. It couldn't be.
What would attract someone like Hannibal to him, after all?
The only thing he had going for him was the fact that Hannibal found him interesting, from a psychiatric point of view. They were friends beyond the doctor/patient spectrum, yes, but that didn't say a lot. It only meant that Hannibal was concerned about him.
Any good doctor would be concerned about the well-being of one of their patients. So he was nothing special to Hannibal. Even though he was invited over for dinner, even though they talked about things other than their psychiatric relationship.
He didn't occupy a special place in Hannibal's life. If he suddenly stopped being a patient, Will doubted that their tenuous friendship would continue.
That thought only made him want to cry all the more.
Hannibal had told him once that he was beautiful, during one of their sessions, and that had given him a brief hope that the other man looked at him as more than a friend. But since then, there had been no comments of that kind.
Hannibal had done or said nothing to bring him any kind of hope. Their relationship had remained on the even keel of friendship, and nothing more. It was driving him crazy. He wanted more, needed more. He had to know how Hannibal felt.
Once he had that knowledge, what would he do with it? He didn't think that the answer would be the one that he wanted to hear.
He'd be even more of a wreck than he was now, Will told himself with an inward sigh. So he really didn't need to find out. It would only hurt more, only make him feel all the more worthless and hopeless. There was no sense in asking.
Though he didn't think he could hurt more than he already did.
Slowly, he looked up again, opening his eyes and studying his face in the mirror. He wasn't a bad-looking guy. He hid his looks behind the heavy, thick-lensed glasses that he didn't need, and the facial hair, but he had his reasons for doing that.
He didn't want anyone to take notice of his looks. He didn't want anyone else but Hannibal to think he was beautiful, to try and get close to him. Being close to people always bothered him; he'd rather than no one try to get into his personal space.
Though if Hannibal wanted to be in that space, he wouldn't mind at all.
Why did he harbor such an attraction to Hannibal? Was it love, or was it just infatuation? Was he merely fascinated by someone who was so different from himself, someone who seemed to have so much confidence and wasn't socially inept?
Or was he in love, for the first and only time in his life? Was this what love felt like? Was he doomed to go through life loving someone who didn't feel the same?
He couldn't hold the tears back any longer; they were streaking down his face, sobs starting to accompany them. What was it about him that was so unlovable? Why couldn't Hannibal feel the same way? Why was he always so alone?
At one time, he would have appreciated that solitude.
Before he'd met Hannibal, all he wanted was to be alone. He didn't want anyone in his life; he even kept the people he considered his friends at arm's length. He had never been comfortable around people, and he didn't want anyone prying into his life.
But Hannibal had changed all that. Hannibal had burst into his world like a falling star, one that he wanted desperately to catch and attach himself to.
Hannibal had changed everything about his world. He didn't look at himself in the same way now; he was more critical of his appearance, even though he wasn't ready to change that yet. He was more critical of everything about himself.
He probably seemed uneducated and provincial to Hannibal, even though he worked for the FBI and was a professor. Hannibal was far above him; there was no way a man like that would lower himself to hold out a hand to Will, except in friendship.
He was lucky that Hannibal conceded to be his friend.
But he didn't just want that friendship. He wanted more. He wanted to be in Hannibal's arms; he wanted to be his lover. He wanted to spend nights with Hannibal, to know what it was like to be physically loved by him, to fall asleep next to him and wake with him in the mornings.
And he would never have that. Never. It just wasn't possible. The thought made Will cry harder, emotions finally coming to the surface after being held back for so long.
He raised a hand to wipe at the tears on his face, feeling ashamed for letting himself break down like this. Looking at himself in the mirror, he couldn't hold back a wry smile. The wreck of the beautiful, that was what Hannibal would call him at this moment.
Beautiful. Hannibal had called him beautiful.
That had to give him some hope, didn't it?
Will had to smile through his tears at the memory. Hannibal had told him that he was beautiful, and that he didn't understand why Will hid his light under the proverbial bushel. So maybe he wasn't such a horrible wreck of a person, after all.
Well, he was definitely a wreck at the moment -- both emotionally and physically. But he could at least do something about the physical side of things.
Turning towards the shower, he leaned down to turn on the water and adjust it before he began to strip off his shirt. He would take a hot shower, scrub away the signs of tears, and hold on to that word Hannibal had said to him.
If Hannibal thought he was beautiful, then there was some hope that the other man did indeed see him in a way that was more than friendly. He just had to be patient, keep getting to know Hannibal, and hope that their friendship could grow into something more.
There was always a chance that could happen, wasn't there?
He had to hold onto that small thread of hope. He had to believe that there was a possibility for a future with Hannibal, because if he didn't, then he would only sink into despair. He was already enough of a wreck without consciously making it worse.
Before he got into the shower, he turned to look back at himself in the mirror, taking stock of his body. No, he wasn't a bad-looking man at all. There was no reason why Hannibal couldn't want him, in time -- he would just have to be patient about that.
Their friendship needed room to grow, and to turn into something more. No one who wanted anything as much as he wanted Hannibal could be doomed to failure.
With that thought in mind, he stepped into the shower, closing his eyes and sighing softly as the hot water pounded down on his body. Patience had never been one of his virtues, but he'd have to cultivate it. If that was what it took to win Hannibal, then he'd be patient.
No matter how long it took.
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