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Title: An Unexpected Gift
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #314, Gift
Author's Note: Sequel to "Relinquish Control."
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.


Hannibal leaned back in his chair, his gaze on Will, eyebrows raised in question. He studied the young man who sat in front of him, eyes downcast, hands folded in his lap.

This was something that he hadn't expected from Will, at least not at this stage in their relationship. He would have thought that such a need would have come out long before this, not after Will had been brutally violated and was trying to work his way back from that experience.

This was a gift that Will was giving him, something that was completely unexpected. It was, well, exciting to think that Will trusted him this much.

Or maybe it wasn't a matter of trust, Hannibal told himself. Maybe Will simply felt that he had to be controlled, to be used. That was worrisome, though at one time, it might have given him great pleasure to do just that. Now, he worried about the effect it could have on Will.

When their relationship had first started, he had thought that he wanted an obedient, submissive Will. Now, he wasn't so sure of that at all.

Now, he wanted Will to be .... simply himself.

He didn't want Will to give himself because he felt that he was obligated to. He wanted Will to turn himself over to him of his own free will, because he wanted to do so.

Forcing him had no savour. That wasn't what he wanted from his Will. No, he wanted not just acquiescence, not just capitulation. He wanted Will to crave that submission, to need it with all of his body and soul. He wanted Will to want this as much as he did.

If that wasn't the case, then Will's surrender meant nothing. It would simply be something that he was doing because he felt that he should.

No, he should want to, feel that he needed to.

Still, Hannibal couldn't help wondering why he was suddenly thinking in this way. He should simply accept the gift of submission that Will was offering him, take what he was being handed with no questions asked. That was what he would have done in the past.

That was what he would have done before Will's abduction and rape. But now, he felt that what Will was giving him could push them further apart.

That wasn't what he wanted, not at all. He wanted them to become closer, to have more of an understanding of each other's physical selves. He wanted Will to enter into the submissive relationship with him from need, not from fear. And somehow, this felt like fear.

Still, taking what was offered might be more of a temptation than he could resist.

After all, their relationship had always been coming to this, hadn't it? He had subtly been pushing things in such a direction ever since the beginning.

This would simply be a chance to solidify that relationship, to make sure that Will was firmly wrapped in the threads of his spider's web. He would be able to turn Will's mind in that submissive direction; he would be able to mold and shape the young man to his specifications.

Hannibal sighed, reluctantly considering the possible outcomes of that ploy. Yes, he could have Will shaped in the way that he wanted him, with no problems.

And yet .... if he chose to go that route, something of what made his young lover uniquely Will would probably be lost forever.

He didn't want that. He didn't want Will to change, didn't want his lover to become a submissive automaton. He wanted Will as he was, even if there were times when Will was hard to decipher or control. He enjoyed all of the challenges that Will presented to him.

And if Will changed, then their relationship would subtly change, as well. There would be no more challenge to it. Some of the enjoyment would go away.

That would only hasten the end, which he definitely didn't want.

So ... should he turn down this gift that Will was offering to him so freely? Or should he accept it, but instead of jumping right in, ease into it slowly and carefully, taking each step one at a time so that he could fully savour every delectable moment?

Yes, that would be the best thing for him to do, Hannibal decided, immediately feeling better once the decision had been reached within his mind.

Yes, that was what should be done. He would accept what Will was giving him; he couldn't find it in himself to turn this gift down, especially as it was apparently so willingly offered. But he would take it slowly every step of the way, and he would make sure that Will enjoyed it.

He would make sure that his young lover was enraptured by all that they did.

Yes, that would be the way to capture Will -- and keep him. It would also be the way to ensure that Will was fully his -- in every way possible.

"So, Will, are you absolutely sure that you want to give me complete control?" Hannibal asked, raising one eyebrow in question. "You do realise that I will take you at your word. Once it begins, there will be no turning back. You will be my submissive in every way."

"But only when we're alone, and not in our psychiatric sessions," Will said with a nod. "And not around other people. Nobody else needs to know."

Hannibal considered that, then nodded in agreement.

"Yes, I agree with you about that," he said. "You're quite right -- no one else needs to know the route that our personal relationship has taken. It's no one's business."

"You got that right," Will muttered. Hannibal almost smiled at the sound of the younger man's voice -- he didn't know if Will was ashamed of the path their relationship was taking, or if he simply wanted to keep his personal life to himself. Whichever it was, he approved.

No one else had to know what went on between them. It was enough that people knew they were involved; no one had the right to peer closely into their private lives.

He didn't want anyone to see into his relationship with Will. It was theirs, and theirs alone. Anyone who had an inkling of what was happening between them, how their dynamics were changing, probably wouldn't approve. And they might try to dissuade Will.

He couldn't have that. No, he wouldn't let anyone try to take Will away from him. Their relationship was taking a turn for what Hannibal considered the better; no one would be allowed to stop that.

This would have to be eased into, but he was confident that he could do so.

"Then I accept the gift of yourself that you are bestowing upon me, Will," Hannibal said softly, getting up and moving to stand beside the young man's chair. He placed a hand on Will's head, stroking his hair, threading his fingers through the silken curls.

This was the greatest gift he could have been given, and he was accepting it in the spirit in which it had been given. He had no choice but to accept, really.

If this was what Will wanted, then this was what Will would have. Hannibal knew that he couldn't refuse, any more than he could refuse to breathe. Wherever this road might take them, he meant to explore it fully -- and to enjoy every moment of that exploration to the fullest.