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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Concerto."
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 been in such a fugue state through most of his relationship with Hannibal, Will reflected. A state that had proven he had lost his heart.
If he hadn't fallen so deeply in love, he would never have been able to be so relaxed with Hannibal, never have let his guard down to such an extent.
But he had, and it had proven to be his downfall.
He would never do that again, he told himself. Never again would he let himself trust someone so completely. Never again would be give his heart unreservedly.
Doing so had left him vulnerable, in a way that made him horribly uncomfortable. He knew that he would never be able to let himself love so freely again.
Did other people feel that way? Did others get so badly burned that they knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their hearts had been scorched and seared so horribly that they would never be able to hold them out to another person, never be able to trust anyone in the future?
He was sure that they did, but at the moment, it felt as though he was the only one who had ever experienced such betrayal, such heartache.
Yet Hannibal would be the one to say that he had been betrayed, Will thought, his lips twisting into a parody of a smile. Hannibal would consider himself the victim in all this.
Of course, Hannibal would see himself as the victim.
He had considering himself to be holding out some kind of prize to Will, something that anyone would want to have. The chance to live completely without a conscience.
But Will had recoiled from that, and to Hannibal, that made him the enemy, someone who had turned his back on what, in his deepest, secret heart, he had most wanted.
That wasn't true, Will told himself, shaking his head. He didn't want what Hannibal had been offering him. He was no killer, no murderer who could kill with impunity. He was nothing like Hannibal, and never would be. In fact, he was the opposite of the other man.
He had too much of a conscience. His very soul rebelled against everything that Hannibal was, everything that his former lover had wanted him to become.
He could never be like Hannibal. He could never kill someone just for the sake of killing, simply because it might feel good at the moment, something that felt .... powerful.
The few times that he had killed, he had felt sickened afterwards, and he had struggled to come to terms with the fact that he had taken human lives, even if it was either in self-defense or to protect an innocent person. He would never quite be able to accept the fact that he had killed.
He would always feel remorse, and that was where he and Hannibal differed greatly. Hannibal didn't give a damn that he was a killer. He cared nothing for the lives that he took.
To Hannibal, human life meant nothing. He could simply toss it aside, shrug it away as though it had never been. And that attitude made Will repudiate him.
How could he have ever loved someone like that?
Will didn't know if he would ever be able to reconcile the part of him that had loved Hannibal with the other part, the one that was repulsed by everything Hannibal was.
He still wasn't sure just how he had fallen in love; it had happened gradually, over a period of time. But he had felt a wild desire for Hannibal when they had first met.
Hannibal had recognized that desire, and he had used it to his full advantage. He had tried his best to make Will into a mirror image of himself, to lure him into that darkness that had always been around the edges of his consciousness and had beckoned to him so seductively.
But in the end, Will's conscience had won out, even though he had been in such a rapturous fugue state during most of their relationship that he almost hadn't listened to it.
It was a good thing that he had, he told himself with a soft sigh. If not, then he could very likely be behind bars right now, next to Hannibal.
Oh, that would have been a situation for Hannibal to take pride in.
Fortunately, though, it hadn't happened. He had been able to extricate himself in time, and he would never fall under the spell of anyone else again.
He would never again give his heart to anyone. He wasn't even sure that his heart was in one piece now; it felt broken and smashed, shattered into so many tiny shards that he would never be able to make it whole again. That was what his relationship with Hannibal had ultimately left him with.
A shattered heart, and a mind that cowered away from even the idea of another relationship. He was left a shadow of who he had been before all of this.
And Hannibal knew that very well.
The fugue state that he had been in through their relationship was something that he would never allow himself to sink into again. Those days were over.
No more trusting, Will told himself firmly. No more giving his heart away. Hannibal had destroyed that for him. He was done with relationships, done with feelings.
He would resign himself to living a very lonely life.
A life where he would never again let himself trust -- or love.
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