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Title: When You Go
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "No Hiding Away."
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.
***"Have you ever considered leaving Wolf Trap, Will?"
The question was asked casually, but Will could sense that there was a deeper meaning behind it, as though Hannibal was looking for an answer that would shape the future.
He didn't know what to say; the truth was that he hadn't thought about leaving his home, not now that he was so well settled there and content with where he was.
What was Hannibal telling him? Was he dropping the hint that he knew the walls were closing in, and that he intended to run soon? And was he asking Will to come with him? There was no way to tell from that little nugget of information that Hannibal had just dropped.
He would have to do some probing, without seeming as though he was searching for information. Well, he could do that. It was one of the things a cop had to learn to be good at.
He'd always been good at searching out answers, but he had the tendency to be blunt with his questions. This time, he would have to tread more carefully, to hide his intentions.
That wasn't easy, especially when he was dealing with Hannibal.
Keeping things from this man was difficult; the charade that he had to put on was getting harder and harder. He couldn't help but feel that eventually, Hannibal would see through everything.
Still, he had to try. Will took a deep breath, thinking about what he had just been asked. Would he leave Wolf Trap and travel, or would he rather just stay here and do his job, content with where he was? To him, it was an easy question to answer, but he had to give the appearance of considering options.
"I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess it would be cool to travel a little," he said, choosing his words carefully and trying to err on the side of caution. "As long as I could come back home."
Hannibal raised an eyebrow a him, lips quirking in a smile.
"Home is not one singular place," he said, sounding as though he was quoting from a book. "It is wherever you choose to make it. Your home does not have to be in Wolf Trap."
What was he saying? Will wanted to simply ask, but he knew that if he did, he probably wouldn't get a straight answer. Hannibal would dance around whatever he was trying to say. That was his way, and it always had been. He wanted Will to think about what he was attempting to get across.
He wanted Will to come to his own conclusions, to reach the point that Hannibal was trying to make by himself, without having the meaning clarified for him.
"Are you saying that you plan on leaving Wolf Trap?" Will asked, the words tumbling out before he could stop them. He hadn't meant to phrase what he wanted to say as a question, but it was out now.
Hannibal nodded, looking satisfied with what Will had asked him. "Yes, WIll, I'm afraid that it will come down to making such a choice," he said, his voice quiet. "Did you really think that I could stay here, now that things have come to this pass? The scrutiny is becoming too much to bear."
Of course he had thought that Hannibal would choose to run at some point, but he hadn't thought that it would happen this soon. That hadn't fit in with his plans.
"Do you know where you're going to go?" There, that question seemed safe enough.
Hannibal shook his head, a small smile playing around his thin, nearly colorless lips. "No, I hadn't. Leaving is a decision that I've only made recently. I hadn't made any plans as of yet."
Good. If Hannibal hadn't made plans, then he didn't have a specific destination in mind, and that was obviously a plus. If they could catch him unawares, put him off balance, then they could possibly get a confession out of him. Though WIll didn't think it would be that easy to trap him.
No, he'd discovered that getting Hannibal right where they wanted him was the hardest thing he'd ever attempted to do. The man was as slippery as a moray eel, and twice as sneaky.
But maybe, just maybe, this was an opening.
"Do you want me to come with you?" Will asked softly, focusing his gaze on Hannibal's face, the face that he'd come to hate more and more as each day passed.
Hannibal looked back at him, those dark eyes seeming to bore directly through him, trying to see through any subterfuge and drill to the core of his soul. Those eyes made him nervous, jumpy.
Hannibal nodded slowly, his gaze never wavering from Will's face. "Yes, I do, WIll," he said, his voice soft and husky. "I may be leaving Baltimore sooner than I had hoped to, but plans have a way of changing. And I had always planned to ask you to come along with me when I left."
Will swallowed hard, at a loss as for what to say. What did this mean? And what was he supposed to say? He had no idea where to go from here.
He couldn't tell Hannibal that he would leave. He'd be expected to make plans to go, and he couldn't do that. Yet if he tried to prevaricate, Hannibal would guess that something was up.
He'd just have to play it by ear, and hope that he was doing the right thing.
"I hadn't really thought about leaving," he said slowly, trying to find the right words. "It's something I'd have to turn over in my mind. But I wouldn't want you to leave without me."
"I didn't think you would," Hannibal answered, his gaze still on Will. "You might have if I had asked you before .... all of this took place, but things have changed."
"Yes, they have." Will sighed softly, looking down and breaking the eye contact with Hannibal. He hated that this man seemed to be able to see into his soul; he didn't want Hannibal to determine just what was hidden there. If he did, then WIll's life wouldn't be worth much.
Somehow, he had to make Hannibal believe that he would go with him when he left. He had to take the chance that his deception hadn't been discovered, that his secrets were still safe.
He had to say what Hannibal wanted to hear. As much as he hated the words, as false as they would be, he had no choice but to keep playing this game that he'd begun.
It was all or nothing, and he had to lay his cards on the table.
"Take me with you when you leave," Will whispered, looking up again. "I don't want you to go without me. There's really nothing left for me here, is there? I should be with you."
There. He had forced the words out, knowing that they weren't true, and hoping that they sounded sincere. They rang false to his own ears, but hopefully, Hannibal wouldn't realize that. He hoped that to the man sitting across from him, the words sounded like a declaration, a commitment.
"I intend to," Hannibal told him, his voice barely above a whisper. "That is, if you choose to come with me, Will. That is entirely up to you. I won't try to push you into it."
Will knew what his answer had to be. There was nothing else he could say.
Of course he didn't intend to go with Hannibal. There would be a trap set for this monster before he could leave, and it would be sprung. Will wouldn't have to go anywhere.
But he had to make this seem real. There was no better time than now to convince Hannibal of his sincerity, to make him believe that he had the acolyte he wanted. There was no better way than this for Will to convince him that he had, indeed, turned into just what Hannibal wanted him to be.
As much as he hated this monster who sat here looking at him as though he wanted to swallow Will's soul, he had to use this opportunity to make him believe that he was adored, looked up to.
He knew what he had to say, and he said it, false though it was.
"I'll go with you," he murmured, unable to look Hannibal in the eye again. If he did, he was sure that he other man would see his deception. "Take me with you when you go, wherever it might be."
"I will," Hannibal whispered, reaching across the table to lay his hand over Will's. In that moment, Will couldn't decide whether or not he'd sold his soul to the devil, or had it forcibly taken from him.
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