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Title: Again and Again
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: One-shot.
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.
***He had always known what Hannibal was.
In the back of his mind, he had known. Even if he hadn't been absolutely sure, he had always thought that there was something strange about the other man.
Yet he had ignored what his gut was telling him, and he had kept up the appearance of friendship -- even being so stupid as to believe that they were friends.
Well, the more fool he.
Will sighed, opening his eyes and staring up at the ceiling above his hospital bed. He should have known a lot sooner than he did that something wasn't right.
After all, he was an empath, wasn't he? His empathy should have told him that Hannibal had only been using him as a kind of experiment, to see how far he could be pushed, how much he could be twisted into various shapes until he finally broke irreparably.
But he hadn't let himself listen to that little voice in the back of his mind that had told him he was playing with fire, that Hannibal was dangerous.
No, he'd ignored it, and now he regretted doing that.
He had never regretted anything in his life as much as he regretted trusting Hannibal. Look at all the damage it had caused, and where it had brought him.
He wouldn't be lying here in a hospital bed after almost bleeding to death if he hadn't been so foolish. And the girl who he'd begun to think of as an adopted daughter wouldn't be lying cold and dead in a graveyard, instead of being vibrant and alive with her whole life ahead of her.
He hated Hannibal for taking that chance at life away from Abigail. He hated Hannibal for all that he'd done, for all of the misery he'd caused.
There were so many reason for that hatred.
No matter how he went over things again and again in his mind, he couldn't excuse himself for the mistakes he'd made. He would always berate himself for them.
He'd been a fool to think that Hannibal was anyone he could trust. He'd put not only himself, but everyone and everything he held dear, in jeopardy. He had pushed away all vestiges of good sense and let himself believe that Hannibal actually had his best interests at heart.
He'd known that wasn't true when he had found himself jailed for crimes that he hadn't committed -- and that was when it had all come to him.
His world had crashed down around him in smoldering ruins.
He'd been a fool to ever trust Hannibal, rather than trusting his own instincts. But there was nothing he could do about that now.
It was in the past, over and done with. He hadn't been able to save all of those innocent people who had been brutally murdered at Hannibal's hands, any more than he'd been able to save Abigail in those last few horrific moments of her wasted life.
He'd always known that he couldn't save everyone. There were too many victims, and he was only one man. There was only so much he could do.
Still, his own failure was a bitter pill to swallow.
No matter how many times he went over it all in his own mind, he couldn't reconcile his foolishness. He should have known better.
He should have seen through Hannibal, Will berated himself. He should have listened to that voice in his mind, the one that had told him to be cautious, not to let Hannibal know so much about him. He should have known that Hannibal would use his revelations against him.
There had been something about Hannibal, something that he could let himself open up to. The man could be charming when he wanted to be.
That charm had been disarming. It had also been false.
There was nothing charming about Hannibal Lecter when one stripped away all the pretenses and lies, and saw the monster that resided underneath the mask of humanity.
Will shuddered when he thought of all of the things that Hannibal had done to him -- things that he would have recoiled from if he'd known about them happening to someone else. But they hadn't happened to another person -- those things had been done to him.
He had spent months of his life wrongly imprisoned, fearing for his life. Months that he would never get back. That time had scarred him for the rest of his days.
Knowing Hannibal had been a horrifying experience.
It was one that he didn't want to repeat with anyone else. He had learned his lesson about trying to make friends, a lesson that he thought he'd learned long ago.
When he had been a child, and then a teenager, he had reached out tentatively to others, and he'd thought a few times that he had actually made friends who would be there for him. But when they'd found out about his empathy, he had become persona non grata.
He had thought that Hannibal was different, but he knew now that Hannibal had never been his friend -- only an enemy of the vilest proportions.
He would never try to get close to anyone again.
That had been his mistake, Will told himself firmly. He'd done that over and over again years ago, and he'd been sure that he had learned his lesson.
But for some bizarre reason, something had made him reach out to Hannibal, even as everything in his mind had screamed that he was making a mistake, and that he should keep away. It wasn't that he was like Hannibal. It was that he had so desperately needed someone to understand him.
He'd been fooled in that, too. Hannibal had never understood him. Hannibal had only wanted to make him into a mirror image of himself.
Hannibal had wanted Will to descend to his own depths of evil.
He would never do that, Will vowed to himself. He would never be what Hannibal was -- an evil, conscienceless monster who thought nothing of killing innocents.
That wasn't him. It never had been, and never would be. He could at least take comfort in the knowledge that Hannibal hadn't managed to get what he wanted from him.
When he got out of here, he would go after Hannibal and bring him to justice.
Even if finding that justice was the last thing he ever did.
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