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Title: This Aching Heart
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #213, Ache
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.


He ached for Hannibal.

Will could feel that ache in his bones, permeating his entire body. It was as though the longing for the man he wanted so desperately went all the way through him; it was etched on his skin, pumping through his veins, written on his features.

It was carved into his heart. Each beat of that heart was for Hannibal; he wanted nothing more than to hand that heart over to the man he loved.

The ache for Hannibal wasn't just in his body. It was in his heart, in his mind, in every part of him. It wasn't something that he could just shrug away, or forget about. It was something that was with him on a constant basis, that never went away.

It hurt. It hurt like hell.

It made talking to Hannibal in their therapy sessions hard to do. He was terrified that he was going to let a word slip, a glance, a gesture.

If he did that, then Hannibal would know. He was far too astute a man not to know what a word or a look could mean; he would catch that meaning instantly. Will wondered if he might look for it, if he expected it, and what he would say if it happened.

No, he didn't want to know. He was sure that the response wouldn't be one he wanted to see; Hannibal couldn't possibly want him.

Hannibal couldn't feel the same ache he did, one deep within his soul, one that drew him like a moth to a flame. He couldn't know what it was like to want someone so badly and feel that he'd never have them, or that he could never tell them how he felt.

No, Hannibal would never know what that was like. Why should he? He could have anyone he wanted. He would never know how painful this ache was.

It was an ache that never went away.

It was a constant part of him, a constant reminder that he could never have what he wanted. There were times when the need nearly doubled him over physically.

He hated always living with the knowledge that he could never have the man he wanted, hated knowing that he would always feel this pain. Perhaps it would be easier to simply tell Hannibal how he felt, and then hold his breath and wait.

Wait to see if Hannibal could possibly feel the same, if he thought that he might someday be able to return Will's feelings. Wait with bated breath and an ache in his heart.

He would never do that.

There was no way that he could. He couldn't deal with what he was sure would be ultimate rejection, with Hannibal telling him, gently but firmly, in that calm way of his, that what he felt was a pipe dream and that it would eventually crumble to dust.

He would always feel this aching need, this desire that twisted his guts and made him feel that he was tied up in knots from the inside out.

When this ache had first started to build within him, he'd been sure that it wouldn't last, that what he felt was only a brief infatuation. He'd been so wrong about that.

It had begun as nothing more than an interest, a feeling that he wanted to know more about Hannibal, to be around him more than he could be. That had progressed rapidly to feeling that he never wanted to be away from the other man, that he had to be around him.

Then had come the sleepless nights.

And, of course, the dreams when he did sleep. The dreams about Hannibal, the dreams that never went away. Dreams of the two of them together.

Dreams of him being in Hannibal's bed, of Hannibal making love to him. Dreams that he knew could never come true, but which haunted him anyway, dreams that made his aching heart feel as though it was going to burst from wanting Hannibal so badly.

There were times when he wanted to weep in frustration, when he felt as though this aching need that filled him would never be assuaged.

Of course it wouldn't. He would just have to learn to live with it.

This ache was going to be a permanent part of him; Will didn't doubt that for a moment. He was sure that it would always be there, burning, twisting, aching.

This aching heart was something that he would have to get used to harboring. There was no way that ache could ever be assuaged; even if he told Hannibal of his feelings, he was sure that they wouldn't be returned, that Hannibal couldn't feel the same.

What would happen if he told Hannibal of his feelings? That was a risk that he didn't want to take, even to make the ache stop.

Because it wouldn't stop, Will told himself. Telling Hannibal how he felt would only intensify the ache, make it much, much worse. He would see pity in Hannibal's eyes whenever they talked, whenever they had a session. And he couldn't live with that.

He couldn't deal with being pitied. Better that he never reveal his feelings than to have the person they were directed towards pity him for having them.

Better to let this aching heart keep hurting for all eternity.

And it would, Will knew. For every moment that he couldn't be with Hannibal, for every second that the love he felt was denied expression, his heart would ache, and he would writhe in a hell of his own making, a fire that he could never put out.

How long could he go on like this? He didn't have a choice, not really. He would have to live his entire life in a frenzy of wanting, of needing, of aching.

He would have to get used to having this aching heart for the rest of his life. There was nothing he could do about it; he couldn't push these feelings away, and they wouldn't be reciprocated. Nothing for him to do but yearn, and love, and ache.

It was curse that he would have to live with for the rest of his life, and beyond.