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Title: No Longer A Game
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Table: Quotables, Part 2, tv_universe
Prompt: "I hope you choke on my bones."
Author's Note: Sequel to "Advance Warning."
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.
***Will sighed softly as he raised his head and looked out over the land around his house. It looked so quiet, so peaceful, as though nothing could disturb the tranquility of the scene.
It was such a beautiful, pastoral place to live, and he appreciated the solitude and the silence. But he'd also learned the hard way that such solitude could be dangerous.
There had been no one to help him when Hannibal had attacked him.
He'd had no one to call out for, no hope that anyone could possibly realize that something was wrong and come to his rescue. It had been far too easy for him to be victimized.
It had been so easy for Hannibal to come to his home and do whatever he chose to do. He had made it through Will's defenses as though he was slicing a knife through a piece of cake.
He wasn't going to let that happen again, he told himself firmly. But on the heels of that inner declaration came another thought: How could he avoid it? If Hannibal decided to show up again, he could pick and choose the time that he was here. And Will would be just as isolated, just as vulnerable.
It was terrifying to think that Hannibal could get to him so easily. And even more terrifying to know that he had no first line of defense that would do anything to keep his nemesis away.
The thought of having Hannibal near him again made him shudder. He didn't want that monster to be anywhere around him unless he was safely behind iron bars.
The only way that he'd feel safe again was when Hannibal was in prison.
That would happen, eventually. Hannibal couldn't run forever. There were only so many places that he could hide. He would be tracked down and brought to ground.
Hannibal would be caught. Will just hoped that he was the man who would be able to finally trap the monster, the one who would be able to bring him to justice.
He needed that. Not only for himself, but for all the other victims whose lives Hannibal had cut short, all of the families out there who had lost people they loved at the hands of a brutal, conscienceless killer. He needed to know that he had somehow done some good for those people.
When his cell phone rang, he reached into his pocket absently, assuming that it was Jack calling to tell him about a new case. Clicking the phone on, he spoke into it. "Hello?"
"Hello, Will." The voice on the other end of the phone made his blood freeze in his veins; it was a voice that he hadn't been expected to hear, hadn't wanted to hear.
"Hello, Hannibal." Will sighed softly, determined to keep any kind of quaver out of his voice. "Checking to see if I"m home, where you expect me to be? Trying to make sure that I'm feeling properly apprehensive? Think again, Hannibal. You don't scare me. You've already done your worst."
"Not my worst, Will." The other man's tone was calm, quiet, but Will could still hear the menace in his words. "I've done far from my worst. You are still breathing."
"I have no doubt that you want to kill me." Will managed to keep his own voice even, refusing to let Hannibal make him feel intimidated. "I've known that for a long time now."
"I genuinely regret the necessity of doing so." Again, the tone was calm.
Hannibal actually sounded as though he meant what he was saying. A part of Will believed that he did mean it, and that his nemesis didn't actually want him dead.
No, he couldn't believe that. He knew that Hannibal wanted him gone. He was the thorn in Hannibal's side, the one that would never let him rest.
"You think that you're going to be able to kill me and eat me, and that will free you and make you stop looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life," he said slowly, his voice very soft. "But it won't stop, Hannibal. You'll never be free of me. And you'll never be able to stop running."
Those words were followed by a lengthy silence; Will could almost hear Hannibal's anger over the phone line. He hadn't expected to hear Will stand up to him.
"Perhaps I was wrong, Will." Hannibal's voice had lost the polite veneer now; the words sounded menacing. "I should have done away with you when I had you in my grasp."
Will almost wanted to laugh at those words, but he didn't dare.
"You didn't have the strength to do away with me," he whispered, enunciating each word clearly. "I'm your weakness, Hannibal. And I always will be."
There. Those words would anger Hannibal more than any others, and he knew it. Hannibal didn't want to admit that he had any kind of weaknesses, least of all Will.
"You will die by my hand, Will Graham," Hannibal snarled. "I will make sure that you feel each moment of your death, and that you look into my eyes as the life is fading out of your own. I will make sure that you know who killed you, and that I am the victor in our little game."
So Hannibal had thrown down the gauntlet. Well, two could play at that game. When he spoke, Will's voice was just as acidic, just as threatening as Hannibal's had been.
"Just try it," he said, his voice almost a growl. "And when you do try to eat me, I hope you choke on my bones. Because you won't be able to force them down."
With that, he clicked off the phone, cutting off their contact.
Will waited for several long moments, holding his breath, wondering if Hannibal would call him back. But after a while, it became obvious that he wasn't going to.
The ball had certainly been set in motion now, he told himself grimly, taking out his phone to call Jack and let him know that there had been more contact.
This was no longer a game. It was a showdown, in deadly earnest.
And he was sure that only one of them would come out of it alive.
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