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Title: Twisted Frame
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Big Bang Inspirations, tv_universe
Prompt: Picture of twisted tree
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 leaned against a tree trunk, gazing into the distance. This wasn't usually a view he liked in the winter months; it was bleak, uncompromising. But the twisted tree that was in his line of vision always drew his gaze, as though it beckoned to him.

That tree reminded him a lot of himself. It was too much like him, Will thought wryly. Though it revealed more than it hid, they were somehow kindred.

He hid the twisted side of himself very well; he always had. He had learned from a very young age that it wasn't good to be different, that people turned away if you were different. He'd learned to mask that twisted part of who he was, to keep it under wraps.

Of course, people still turned away from him, but for different reasons.

People avoided him because he wanted them to. He had discovered quite some time ago that he wasn't comfortable around people, any more than they were around him. It was better if he distanced himself from everyone; better for all concerned.

He saw something of himself in that tree, Will thought with a rueful smile. Only he was twisted on the inside, where no one could see it. That tree had a twisted frame, displayed for all the world to see. He had a twisted psyche that didn't fit his outer shell.

He didn't want to share his inner self with anyone. He didn't want any person he knew to look behind that calm, quiet outer packaging and see the twisted mess that lay beneath.

The only person he had ever wanted to share anything about himself with was Hannibal, Will though, his lips curving into a wry smile. It was almost funny that the only person who he'd ever wanted to pour out all of his inner thoughts to should be just as reticent as he was.

Hannibal never released any information about himself -- at least, nothing that wasn't already public knowledge. He didn't talk about his past -- and he didn't talk about his feelings, even though he encouraged Will to do just that.

Hannibal was so much like him that it was almost scary.

In a way, Will couldn't help thinking that the two of them were soul mates. They both had their secrets, and they both hid behind masks. Only it was easy for him to let his mask slip away, especially when he was stressed; Hannibal never let his move an inch.

Hannibal's mask always stayed firmly in place, no matter what Will might say or do in the hopes of being able to dislodge it. Hannibal always seemed to realize when he was being goaded; he would simply smile that icy, superior smile and change the subject.

Why was Hannibal so secretive about who he was? Will didn't doubt htat he had just as much of a twisted psyche as he himself did.

They were two people who were so much alike, he thought wistfully. Why couldn't they just leap over the barriers that seemed to separate them, just knock them down and reveal themselves, with all their flaws and imperfections, in all their twisted glory?

Because he wasn't sure that he was ready to do that, even for Hannibal, he thought with a sigh. And if he wasn't ready, then Hannibal more than likely wasn't, either. Hannibal probably had even more secrets and flaws than he did. It wasn't easy to reveal them.

He'd never done that. Not with anyone. Ever.

He had never been able to share his heart with anyone -- or his body, either. Oh, there had been a little adolescent fumbling in high school, and again in college, both with men and women. But nothing had ever come of it. He had been too shy, too secretive.

But Hannibal made him want to change all that. Hannibal made him want to reach out, to bare not only his soul, but his body as well. He dreamed every night of being in Hannibal's arms, in his bed, of Hannibal touching him, kissing him, making love to him.

It was getting harder and harder to keep those feelings under wraps, harder for him not to let Hannibal know, by some small turn of phrase, just how he felt.

He couldn't do that, Will told himself with a soft sigh. He couldn't let Hannibal know how he felt. The second he did, there would be yet another barrier between them -- and this one might be insurmountable. Hannibal might turn his back and walk away.

At least at the moment, he could count on their friendship. He didn't know how he would deal with Hannibal walking away from that. It would be a million times worse than any other time people had walked away from him in the past. It would destroy him.

He couldn't lose Hannibal. So he had to keep quiet about his feelings.

Will could see himself far into the future, growing wizened and twisted with all of the emotions that he had to keep bottled up inside him. He would become just like that tree, supporting a twisted frame as well as a twisted mind. It was inevitable.

If he could only tell Hannibal how he felt, and know that those feelings would be accepted with open arms .... but no. That wouldn't happen. He couldn't expect Hannibal to feel the same way about him. He'd told himself time and time again that it wasn't possible.

Hannibal could have anyone he wanted -- and he wouldn't want Will Graham. It was a relationship that could only exist in his dreams, in his fantasies.

For all he knew, Hannibal wasn't even attracted to men. He'd never given Will any reason to believe that he was attracted .... except for the way Hannibal gazed at him sometimes, as though he wanted to see him from the inside out, to strip away all of those barriers for good.

Will lived for those moments. In that brief span of time, he could pretend that Hannibal wanted him, that the object of his affection was reaching out to him. Maybe, someday, he would find that it was the case, and he could let his fantasies become real.

He shook his head, negating that thought, pushing it away.

Those fantasies would never be real. He had to get that through his head, and stop holding on to the idea that someday, some way, Hannibal could care about him. It wasn't going to work out. He was simply going to have to get used to them being nothing more than friends.

More than ever, that tree seemed to symbolize who he was. A twisted psyche, a twisted mind, twisted thoughts and a desire that could lead nowhere. If Hannibal could look into his mind now, he would never be able to find his way through the convoluted paths.

At some point, his twisted frame would look on the outside just like his twisted mind did on the inside. He wasn't looking forward to the day when it started to show.

Sighing, Will turned away from the twisted tree, slowly walking back down the path that led to his house. He'd had enough of those disturbing thoughts today; he only hoped that they would stay out of his dreams, and let him have at least one night of peace.