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Title: Quest For the Truth
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "Judgment."
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.


It was so frustrating not to be able to remember all of the past.

Will sighed as he sat by the banks of the river near his house, fishing pole in hand. Even fishing didn't seem to be helping him regain his sense of inner calm today.

This was usually how he tried to relax, to take his mind off all of his problems, but there was just too much swirling around in his brain right now for him to be able to push those thoughts away, to turn them off and let himself get lost in another world.

There was so much going on in his life, so much that he didn't want to have to deal with. Hannibal's trial, and trying to fill in the gaps in his own memory.

Just what had Hannibal done to him that had made some of memories disappear so entirely? How had he managed to clear the cache of Will's mind to the point where even if a memory might come floating to the surface, he had no idea if it was true or not?

He cursed Hannibal for that, and cursed himself for being stupid enough to trust such a monster. He should have never let anyone get inside his head.

Least of all someone who had the power to completely turn it around.

But he hadn't known what Hannibal was capable of when Jack had first insisted that he begin seeing the so-called "doctor," he told himself. That was his excuse.

He hadn't known what Hannibal was then, hadn't known that it would be dangerous to let such a predator get into his mind. No one had, not even Jack. They'd all trusted Hannibal; they'd all believed in that human mask he'd worn over his true nature.

Well, all except him, Will told himself. There had always been one little part of himself, one that he'd kept hidden, that had never completely trusted Hannibal.

That wasn't odd, really, as he'd never completely trusted anyone.

Trust was something that he reserved for those who he felt deserved it -- and to be honest, he didn't know anyone in his present phase of life who did.

The one person who he'd given most of his trust to was Jack, and that was because Jack was the person who had been most equipped to help him catch Hannibal and put him behind bars. But that didn't mean that he'd given his entire trust to the man.

Oh, no. He would never do that. He'd never done it before in his entire life, and this definitely wasn't the time for him to let that wall down and start trusting completely.

Trust wasn't something he could afford to let anyone have.

In his quest for the truth about what Hannibal had done to him, trust wasn't a commodity he could give out to anyone. It was too precious, too fragile.

He'd trusted before -- though not completely, by his own admission -- and look where that had gotten him. He had spent time in jail, framed for crimes he hadn't committed, and everyone had turned against him. All the people he'd thought he could trust had turned away.

that was when his trust had eroded, when he had realized that the only person in this world he could ever count on was himself, and nobody else.

Even when people had begun to believe him again, there were still those who he'd trusted in the past who still thought he was a killer.

He didn't want to say that one name in particular, didn't want to bring their image to mind. it still hurt that someone who he'd thought he could trust, someone who he might have given such trust to, could turn their back on him so completely and condemn him out of hand.

That person was utterly and completely worthless. They had no place in his life, and never had. They were nothing more than a colleague now, not even a friend.

They would be no help in his quest for the truth.

No one would really be of any real help, Will reflected. No one could find the truth but himself; he had to dredge it up from the recesses of his mind.

The only person who could help him was Hannibal, and he knew that monster too well to think that he'd be given any help from that quarter. No, Hannibal would enjoy seeing him squirm, knowing that he had all of the answers Will needed, but refusing to let him have them.

Hannibal would want to keep him squirming, keep him looking for answers, keep him under his thumb. He might even expect favors for supplying those answers.

And even if Hannibal did give him answers, he could never be sure that they were the truth.

He knew enough not to trust Hannibal for any reason; he never truly had before, and he couldn't give that trust now. It was an absolute impossibility.

Will smiled sourly, feeling that it was more than a little ironic that the one person who had the answers was the one that he couldn't expect them from. It would be so easy if Hannibal would simply accept defeat and let him know what he so badly needed to find out.

But no, that wasn't Hannibal's way. He would never make anything easy; he would always keep any kind of victim hanging on a string, making them work for what they needed.

And in the end, he might not tell them what they needed to know.

No, there was no trust to be given in that direction. And there were probably no answers forthcoming, even if Hannibal might hint that there could be.

How could he ever trust Hannibal to tell him the truth? If there was one thing he knew about that scheming creature, it was that Hannibal would always to turn anything to his advantage. If there was any way that he could keep Will guessing, then he wouldn't hesitate to do so.

He would have to access those memories on his own somehow. If he kept pushing Hannibal to simply give them to him, then Hannibal would be controlling him again.

He'd had more than enough of that. He didn't intend to be Hannibal Lecter's puppet any more. It had already happened once, but he was older and wiser now, more experienced. He knew better than to let himself fall into that trap once more.

Hannibal wouldn't have the control he wanted this time. Somehow, Will Graham was going to take control of his own life, and recover his stolen memories.

Whatever Hannibal had done, it could be undone.

He could recover those memories, with or without Hannibal's help. It would just worry him as to whether his own memories were accurate or not, given what Hannibal had done.

That monster could very well have altered his memories, changed them into something that was dark and twisted and wasn't really what he'd actually done. And there was no way of finding out the truth; Hannibal obviously wasn't going to give him that.

So he would simply have to hope that his quest for the truth would yield fruit, and that his memories would come back to him clearly and with no artifice.

Will sighed, closing his eyes. Somehow, he didn't think that was destined to happen.