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Title: The Love of His Life
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "There Will Never Be Another You."
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.
***Will stared down at Hannibal, unable to comprehend what his boyfriend was doing.
Why was Hannibal down on his knees -- no, one knee? And why was he reaching into the pocket of his evening jacket to bring out a small velvet box, one just big enough to hold a ring.
No. Oh, no. This couldn't be happening. Of all the things that Will had ever dreamed of Hannibal doing, proposing to him was the last one. He hadn't thought that they would ever get married, even though gay marriage was legal in the state of Maryland. He'd thought they would just keep going the way they were.
He was perfectly happy with how they were, wasn't he? He didn't need to get married. It was enough for him to be Hannibal's lover, and to know that he was first in his boyfriend's heart.
Marriage was something that had always seemed to be for other people, for people who wanted to have children and raise families. That had never been part of Will's makeup; children weren't something he particularly wanted to be around, and he didn't want any of his own. He never had, and never would.
But it looked as though everything might change within the next few minutes, and there was no telling what words were going to come out of Hannibal's mouth to turn his entire world upside down.
He moistened his lips, struggling to form words.
"H-Hannibal, what are you doing?" he asked, his voice very soft, hoping that no one else could hear him in the sudden silence of the room. "Why are you down on your knees?"
Hannibal looked up at him, a smile on his lips. "Because, my dear Will, I have something to say to you, and I wanted to do it here, as a declaration of my feelings for you."
Will started to shake his head, but Hannibal caught his hand, bringing it to his lips and gently kissing Will's fingertips. Will could almost feel his heart melting at the gesture; trust Hannibal to do something so romantic that he couldn't pull away, couldn't do anything but to hear what his lover had to say.
Hannibal cleared his throat, then kissed Will's fingertips again and smiled up at him. Will couldn't help returning that smile with a slightly wobbly one of his own, silently encouraging his boyfriend to speak.
"Will, you are the light of my life, the love that I never thought to find," Hannibal began, his voice choked with emotion. "I believed that love had passed me by, and I had stopped searching for it."
He kept going, his voice gathering strength. "But from the moment I first met you, I felt my heart stir in a way that it never had before. I knew, from that first smile, from that first hello, that I had already lost my heart to you." He paused, his voice dropping to a lower note, barely above a whisper. "And I never want that heart back again."
Hannibal took a deep breath, gazing into Will's eyes, still holding his hand. All the love and hope in the world were in those eyes, in that steady, hopeful gaze. "Will Graham, will you marry me?"
What could he say to that question? There was only one word that Hannibal wanted to hear, of course; Will could sense that all the people in the room were holding their collective breath, waiting to hear his answer.
The word came from his lips almost before he realized what he was saying. "Yes."
It was a mere whisper, a thread of sound, but it might as well have been a shout directly from his heart. Suddenly, Will knew that was the only word he could possibly have said.
Hannibal opened the box to reveal a platinum and onyx ring, with one single diamond sparkling at the center. Will had to catch his breath; it was a gorgeous ring, more than he'd ever thought that an engagement ring could be. It was the most beautiful piece of jewelry he had ever seen.
And it was his. Hannibal carefully slid the ring onto his finger, then rose to his feet and gathered Will into his arms, kissing him with a passion that Will could feel from his head to his toes.
All that he could do was return that kiss with equal fervor, suddenly wishing that the two of them were alone at home and they could run upstairs to the bedroom, instead of being here in a room full of people who would want to offer congratulations to the both of them. He wanted to be alone with Hannibal, to share this moment just between them.
But that wasn't going to happen, and he knew it. They would have to accept the exclamations that were already starting to be hurled at them, the crowd of people closing in.
This man was the love of his life, and he intended to let everyone know it.
It was a lot to take it at once; this had been their first public outing as a couple, and now, not only did everyone know that they were seeing each other, they'd become engaged publicly, too.
But somehow, it seemed fitting. Hannibal was used to making large, grandiose gestures, and this was one of the biggest gestures of them all. In one single night, he had shown the world exactly how he felt about Will, and informed most of the people he knew that they were together. Hannibal had shown everyone where his heart was.
Now they would both do the same, for the rest of their lives, Will told himself. They would be together, the two of them, and the world would know that they loved each other.
With Hannibal's arm around him, Will turned to face the first well-wisher with a smile on his face.
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