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Title: A Betrayal of Trust
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "The Last Word."
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.
***Why couldn't he stop coming back here?
He already knew that Hannibal wasn't going to give him the answers he sought. But still, he kept coming back, hoping against hope that the other man would break.
If prison hadn't broken Hannibal down, then nothing would. He should know better than to keep holding onto the hope that Hannibal would tell him what he needed to know.
Yet, something within him kept hoping that Hannibal held him in some regard. Why did he want to hang onto a warped, twisted kind of friendship that had really never existed anywhere but in his own mind? Hannibal had never been his friend. This man had never been on his side.
But a part of him still wanted to believe that Hannibal would have some sympathy for him, that this man would fill in at least some of the blanks in his memory.
Why would he continue to believe that? He should know by now that Hannibal delighted in torturing him; this man wasn't going to to tell him anything.
Hannibal would never do anything to help him.
If he was going to recover those lost memories, he would have to do it himself. He would have to go into the silence of his mind and try to navigate the pathways there.
Sooner or later, one of those paths would lead him back to the memories that he'd lost. The problem was, he didn't know how to find those paths. They were lost to him.
Maybe he'd be able to find them if he searched long and hard enough, but how much time would that take? Weeks? Months? Even years? It would be so much easier if Hannibal would simply tell him what had happened. If only a few of those gaps were filled in, then everything would fall into place.
But even if Hannibal told him some of what he needed to know, could he trust this man? Could he believe that what he was being told was the unvarnished truth?
No, of course not. He could never trust Hannibal again, not after all that this monster had done to him. He would never believe anything that Hannibal told him. He couldn't afford to.
"I know what you want from me, Will." Hannibal's voice was quiet, even resigned. "And you know that, on principle, I cannot give you the answers that you expect. A part of me would like to, but you and I are on opposite sides now. And I cannot be seen to be colluding with the enemy."
Will could only stare at him, wondering how they had come to this when at one point, they had been friends. Or at least there had been a veneer of friendship between them.
"What good is it going to do you to keep holding answers back from me?" he asked, hoping that his voice wouldn't break. "Nobody cares what you tell me now."
He shook his head, feeling frustrated, wishing that he could break through to this man.
"Once upon a time, I trusted you with all of my heart," he whispered, looking directly into Hannibal's eyes. "I thought you were my friend, who would never betray me. I was so wrong."
"It wasn't a betrayal of trust, Will," Hannibal said, sounding sad and defeated. "I was trying to make you into something more than you are. You were to be reborn, transformed."
"Into your image?" Will retorted before he could stop himself. "In other words, you wanted me to lose my individuality, my identity, and just become a carbon copy of what you are. You should have known that it wouldn't happen, Hannibal. I'm too much my own person to just disappear into someone else."
"I didn't realise that at the time," Hannibal admitted, his gaze not wavering from Will's. "I should have known that. In that respect, you have defeated me, Will. I commend you for that."
"I'm the only person who ever has, aren't I?" Will asked him, wondering if Hannibal would answer that question. He didn't think so; Hannibal was never one to admit to defeat.
"Yes, you are," Hannibal told him, his voice quiet. "Again, I commend you."
"There's nothing to commend me for," Will said quietly, shaking his head again. "You should have always known that good will win out over evil."
"I don't see you and I as a struggle between good and evil," Hannibal told him, raising one eyebrow. "I see it as someone resisting his destiny, much to my chagrin."
"You've never been my destiny, Hannibal," Will said with a sigh. "You just wanted to believe that you were. My mistake was trusting you. I don't know why my empathy didn't tell me from the first that there was something horribly wrong with you. I wish it had. Then I wouldn't have wasted so much time."
"Ah, but you would never have been on the trip that I have taken you on," Hannibal said with a smile. "Admit it, Will. I have enriched your life. You have gone places that you would have never been without me."
"Those are places that I wish I'd never seen," Will replied. "Places that no decent person would want to see. And now I can't unsee them. You haven't enriched my life. You've darkened it."
With those words, he got to his feet, leaving the room without a backward glance.
He didn't want to come back here again. He didn't want to look into those eyes, hear that voice. He didn't want to confront Hannibal again. He'd had enough.
But something told him that he would be back. He would keep coming back, until he got the answers he sought. He needed them too badly to simply walk away, and Hannibal knew it. So in a way, that monster did still wield power over him.
He hated that fact. He didn't want Hannibal to have any more control over his life or his thoughts. He had to find a way to get those answers without going to Hannibal for them.
How the hell was he supposed to do that?
Once upon a time, he had trusted Hannibal. Now, he had no one to put his trust in but himself and his own mind. Would he be able to do that, and to find the truth?
All he could do was depend on himself, and hope that somewhere in the murky depths of his memories, the truth of the past would finally be brought out into the light.
Once upon a time was long and far away. It was over and done with.
He had to focus on the here and now.
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