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Title: Where His Heart Resides
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Best of Both Worlds."
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.
***"Home is not a place, Will," Hannibal said softly, placing a hand on Will's shoulder.
Will swallowed hard and nodded, looking around him at the living room of the house in Wolf Trap. The furniture was still here, but somehow, it didn't feel the same.
He loved this house and always would, but he no longer lived here on a regular basis. He and Hannibal would come here on weekends, and the occasional day during the week.
The house didn't feel abandoned, but it still didn't really feel like his home any more. It was a wrenching thought; this place had been his refuge for so long that it was hard to think of giving it up. As much as he liked living with Hannibal, it was still hard to realize that he had changed domiciles.
He felt as though he'd been uprooted, in a way, even though he had made his own decision to move in with his lover. He hadn't been forced or coerced in any way.
It just felt very strange to know that he wasn't coming back here after work every night any more, that the dogs really didn't live here, and that it was just a country getaway now.
It was no longer his private refuge, his place to hide away from the world.
He didn't have to do that any more, Will reminded himself. There was no reason for him to hide away. He had taken a step forward, and that step included being more social.
Being Hannibal's lover had pushed him into that. Hannibal knew a lot of people, and once they had gone public with their relationship, everyone had been curious about him.
Maybe it hadn't been the smartest thing to do, to let everyone know that they were now living together. Maybe they should have eased into it, so it wouldn't seem so sudden, or come as such a shock. But Will was sure that a lot of people had already realized that there was something between the two of them.
They hadn't really hidden it, but they'd never been upfront and open about their relationship, either. They hadn't felt a need to be, but things had changed.
Now that he was living with Hannibal, his entire life had changed. He hadn't just left his home and his refuge, but he had committed himself to a whole new way of life.
He no longer went home at night alone, to let the dogs out for a run in the woods around his house and make dinner, then do preparation for his next day's lectures at Quantico or settle down to read a book. No, now he had a boyfriend, a person to spend his evenings with.
It still felt a little awkward to him, but Will was sure that he would get used to having someone around on a regular basis in time. It wasn't like the didn't want Hannibal there.
He had made the decision to push the envelope, to change his life. And if it wasn't exactly what he'd envisioned it to be, it was still a life that he could appreciate and enjoy.
Hannibal was right. This house wasn't really a home. It didn't feel like a home.
A home was where the person you cared about most was. A home was a place that was warmed by loved, a place that fit you like a second skin, a place that embraced you.
Hannibal's house might not do all of that yet, but Will was confident that in time, it would. He just had to get used to the idea of living with someone, which wasn't easy for him.
That house didn't feel like a home to him yet, but it would eventually. He was already getting used to it; the dogs seemed to love it there, even though they didn't have so much space to run and play in. But there was a dog park nearby, and Will had already taken them there once.
"Home isn't a place," he repeated, his words barely audible. "This place was never really a home because I was always alone in it, except for the dogs."
"Home is where your heart is, Will," Hannibal answered, his own voice soft and husky. "And if I may take the liberty of saying so, I believe that your heart is with me."
Will turned to his lover with a smile and a nod.
"It is," he whispered, closing his eyes as Hannibal's arms slid around him. He leaned against the taller man, emotion flooding through him and making it hard to speak.
Yes, his home was wherever his heart resided, and he knew that it was with Hannibal. They would make the house in Baltimore a happy place, a place where love and joy rang out.
Together, he and Hannibal would turn the house in Baltimore, that big, rambling place, into the home that this smaller house in Wolf Trap had never really been. It had been his home, but it had always been a lonely place. It had never felt as though it was filled with love.
The two of them would make sure that their home was a place that they both loved, a place where they both felt loved and welcomed. It would become the home that he'd never had before.
Looking around one last time, Will walked to the door of the house, then outside and down the front steps. They would be back next weekend, just to get away from the city for a while.
For now, they were going home, to the place where he now kept his heart.
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