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Title: The Deepest Secret
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "Earning His Trust."
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.


"I am making you privy to all of my secrets, Will. I trust you with them."

If only Hannibal knew that trusting him wasn't the wisest thing for him to do, Will told himself, almost wincing at the other man's words.

He was going to betray Hannibal's trust -- and he wouldn't have the slightest compunction about doing so. He knew it was the right thing to do, in this case.

Ordinarily, he was a man who would never betray a confidence. But the man who was sitting across from him preparing to confess his sins, to spill all of his deepest, darkest secrets, was someone who had killed untold numbers of people. A cold-blooded murderer.

And he was going to confess to those murders, or at least some of them. He was going to give Will exactly what he needed to put him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Will was almost surprised to realize that he didn't feel any sympathy for Hannibal, that he had absolutely no regrets over what he knew he would do once Hannibal had spoken.

This was his revenge. And it would taste sweet.

"I don't generally tell anyone my secrets, Will," Hannibal told him, looking directly into his eyes. "But I feel that I can trust you. You deserve to know about me."

Will nodded, the movement barely perceptible. He realized that he was holding his breath in anticipation of just what Hannibal would say; he let it out in an audible rush.

Hannibal sighed, then took a deep breath. "I am indeed the killer you've been searching for, Will," he said, his voice very soft. "I am the Chesapeake Ripper. And yes, I did frame you for the murders. But not to cause you to spend your life in jail, or to lose that life. To tear you down and build you back up again."

"Why would you want to tear me down?" Will asked softly, though he was sure that he already knew the answer. This monster sitting here in front of him had wanted to make him weak, dependent.

Hannibal wanted him to be remade in his own image, to become the same kind of monster that he was. Will would never allow that. He would never become so twisted, so reprehensible.

How could Hannibal have ever thought that his plan would work? How could he have ever thought that Will would be so weak, so biddable? But it was easy to see why he'd thought that, Will told himself. Hannibal had thought that he'd fallen under the spell of his charm, that he was mesmerized.

Well, maybe he had been, for a while. But that had quickly ended once he'd been able to clear his head and had time to think about all that had happened.

Once he had figured out what Hannibal had done and how he'd done it, the only thing he felt for this monster was revulsion. No friendship had been left.

Friends didn't do what Hannibal had done to him.

Friends didn't want to see other friends become nothing more than a carbon copy of themselves. Friends prized you for your own qualities, and didn't want you to take on theirs.

Hannibal was speaking to him again, drawing his attention out of his thoughts and back to the present. Will had to chide himself silently for not pay more close attention.

"This is the deepest secret that no one has ever known, Will," he was saying, his voice so soft that it was the barest of whispers in the quiet room. "I am trusting you with this secret now, because you are a part of it. Because I want you to hold it to yourself, and know that it is what you're meant for."

What he was meant for? Will had to struggle to keep the distaste he felt from showing on his face. He would never be a conscienceless killer. Never.

Yet that was exactly what Hannibal believed he was turning into. He was so sure that he had power and control over Will that he had made the fatal mistake of letting his guard down.

And Will intended to take full advantage of that mistake.

He had to keep the satisfaction from showing on his face, had to pretend that he was listening to Hannibal and taking in all that he said with the avidity of a pupil listening to their teacher.

He had what he needed now. He could go to Jack with what he was hearing from Hannibal, and within hours, this man would be arrested and languishing behind bars.

It was what he wanted, what he had wanted ever since he himself had been behind those selfsame bars, thinking that he might never be able to prove his innocence and taste freedom again. But this time, the situations would be reversed, and Hannibal would be the one to feel that hopelessness.

"You are privy to my deepest secrets now, Will," Hannibal told him, his voice grave. "No one knows them but you, and I have trusted you with them. Do not betray that trust."

Will shook his head, not speaking, hoping that the movement would suffice and make Hannibal believe that he was agreeing to those words.

He wasn't about to say that he would do as Hannibal asked.

Once he was out of here, he would go directly to Jack Crawford, and that betrayal would be well under way. By the time Hannibal discovered what he had done, he would be a prisoner.

Will sincerely hoped that this was the last time he would ever have to sit across from Hannibal and talk with him. This was a position he didn't ever want to be in again.