Title: Preserving His Happiness
Author: angstytimelord
Pairing: Will Graham/Sherlock Holmes
Fandoms: Hannibal/Sherlock
Rating: PG-13
Table: Table 2, 20 in 20 Challenge, tv_universe
Prompt: 9, Happy
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Will Graham or Sherlock Holmes, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.


He wouldn't have thought that it was possible to be this happy.

Sherlock couldn't hold back a smile as he looked over at Will; his boyfriend was working on grading some papers from his classes, oblivious to everything else.

He hoped that Will was as happy as he was; he thought that the other man was much happier here than he ever would have been if he had chosen to stay in Wolf Trap, but Will never said aloud whether he was happy or not. Sherlock simply assumed that he was.

He himself had never expected to find happiness like this. He had always thought that if he was merely able to be content with his life, then that would be enough.

But then, he'd never expected to fall head over heels in love, either. Lvoe was soemthing that had thrown a monkey wrench into his life, but in the best possible way. Love hadn't been part of his plans. Love hadn't been something he was looking for.

Yet still, love had found him -- and he had no regrets whatsoever about it. Love had given him a new lease on life, and had brought him the happiness he now had.

He'd never expected to be happy.

Happiness had always seemed like something that was meant for other people, never for him. He'd had flashes of it, but never a lasting happiness that he could count on.

In fact, he had always distrusted happiness. He had told himself firmly time and time again that it wasn't something that ever lasted, that happiness was only fleeting, and that the flip side of that coin was a deep and paralyzing despair that he didn't want to feel.

He had never really known that sort of despair, either, but he had come close. He'd stood on the edge of that chasm and looked into it, then backed slowly away.

That flip side of happiness wasn't something that he ever wanted to experience. He doubted that he'd be able to survive that sort of crushing blow; he'd had so little in his life to buoy him up that if he suffered the loss of any of it, he would be utterly devastated.

Sherlock paused at that thought, another one striking him only a second later and making him feel as if he'd been doused with a bucket of freezing cold water.

There was even more danger of him feeling that despair now.

Now that he loved, now that he had something precious and rare in his life that he'd never thought he would ever have, it would be doubly devastating to lose it.

Losing Will wasn't an option. It never had been, not from the first moment he had met the other man and gazed into those impossibly blue eyes. Losing Will would be like ripping his own heart out of his body, holding it in his hands, broken and bleeding and gasping its last.

All right, so maybe that was a bit melodramatic, Sherlock thought dryly. But, at the same time, it was nothing more than the truth.

Now that he loved, he had much more to lose than he'd ever had before. If he lost this, he knew that he'd never manage to recover from that kind of a blow.

Which was why he wasn't going to lose Will, he told himself firmly. Nothing would take his love away from him; he would make sure that Will was safe and protected, even though he couldn't wrap him in cotton wool and keep him safe from any and all harm all of the time.

Did everyone feel like this about the person they loved? he mused. He was fairly sure that they did, that everyone wanted to protect their loved one at all costs.

Interesting. Love brought not only happiness, but the shadow of .... fear.

Just thinking of what could happen to Will, how they could be torn apart by his enemies, struck the kind of fear into Sherlock's heart that made his blood freeze in his veins.

He didn't want to think of anything like that. He didn't want to even consider the fact that any of his worst enemies could use Will against him. He didn't want to contemplate the idea that simply being who he was could put his boyfriend in mortal danger.

But that was a fact, and it was one that he had to accept. Yes, he loved, and that love brought him great happiness. But that love could also bring complications.

Would he turn his back on that love, in order to keep Will safe? Sherlock closed his eyes, thinking about what his life had been like before he and Will had come together, and knew that he wouldn't. He couldn't. Now that he loved, he could never turn back.

It had taken so long for love to come into his life. Even to keep that love safe, he couldn't give it up, even if that might be a selfish motive.

He could never walk away from Will and what they shared.

He had never expected to find the happiness that he had in his life, but now that he had it, he would never give it up without one hell of a fight.

If that meant that he might have to face the possibility of some heartache, then he would do that. Though he intended to protect Will to the best of his abilities, which were considerable, and hope that he would never have to face the pain and despair of loss.

It didn't even bear thinking of, Sherlock told himself firmly, pushing that thought away from him. Will was going to be safe with him. He wouldn't be harmed.

He was going to protect the man he loved, and preserve his happiness. There might be times when the two of them would be in danger, but together, they would come through it. Together, they were stronger than anything that they would come up against.

He had to believe in that strength, and believe that this happiness he'd found was going to last. He had to look at his life in a whole new light.

Somehow, Sherlock didn't think that would be too hard for him to do.