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Title: One Good Reason
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "Easy Way Out."
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 did it because I love you, Will."

Hannibal's voice carried all the sadness in the world, but somehow, Will couldn't bring himself to believe that what he heard in that voice was actually real.

Hannibal was a serial killer. He wasn't capable of love, or any finer feelings. Will knew that for a fact; he knew that this man couldn't possibly love him.

Maybe Hannibal thought that what he felt was love, but it couldn't be. There was no way that someone like him could love, no way that he could turn away from his horrific pursuits and become a rehabilitated member of society. It was a lost cause, one that should never be taken up.

"Give me one good reason to believe you," Will shot back, folding his arms across his chest. There. What would his former boyfriend have to say to that?

There wasn't anything that Hannibal could say to make Will believe him. There had been no love involved in what he had done. It had been brutal, inhuman.

Though of course, it somehow made a kind of twisted sense to Hannibal.

"You are unique, Will." Hannibal sighed, shaking his head, his gaze never leaving Will's face. "Those men took away a part of that uniqueness. They had to be eliminated."

Eliminated? The word sent a shiver of distaste down Will's spine. How could anyone look at other human beings so coldly, so dispassionately?

But that was how Hannibal looked at everyone -- probably even him. He might think that he cared for Will, but in the end, Will knew that if he had displeased Hannibal in some way, that he would have been relegated to nothing more than someone who had to be .... gotten rid of.

How long would he have lasted with Hannibal? Another few months? Another few years? There was no way to know, and he never would know now. Which was for the best.

He didn't need to think about what could have been with them. He was well out of that relationship, even though he had to admit that he had a lot of regrets.

If only Hannibal hadn't been what he was, the two of them might have had a chance. He had loved Hannibal with all of his heart, had trusted him in every way. But there had been too many secrets and lies between them for anything to have ever worked, no matter how badly he might have wanted it to.

Did Hannibal feel the same? Did he regret that all of the secrets he'd kept, the fundamentals of who and what he was, had destroyed what they could have been?

Will pushed that question away from him, refusing to search for an answer. He didn't need to know how Hannibal felt, what he thought. He didn't want to know.

It was far, far too late now. The time to ask that question had passed.

"That isn't a reason why you claim to love me," he said quietly, shaking his head. "It's just an excuse for you to kill. It doesn't convince me of your feelings."

Hannibal sighed again, shrugging his shoulders. "It is the only reason that I have, Will," he said, his voice very soft. "I cannot tell you anything else, not if you want the truth."

Maybe Hannibal did think that what he'd done was a way of proving his feelings. Maybe, somewhere deep down inside that darkness that he called a soul, a heart, he did have some shred of emotion for Will. But the younger man doubted that very much.

Serial killers weren't capable of love. What Hannibal thought was love wasn't that four-letter emotion at all. It was a much darker emotion, one that Will didn't want to contemplate.

His own love for this man had died, something that he'd thought would never happen. But it had been a fragile feeling, unable to hold up to the true facts presented to him in the cold light of day.

So which of them was more false? He had to wonder about that.

His own love had faded. But at least it had existed, a real, true emotion. His love hadn't been confused, deceptive and dark, the way that Hannibal's so-called "love" had been.

There was nothing left of that love. Nothing at all. He had searched his soul long and hard, looking for any remnants of what he had felt, but his love had been weak, unable to hold up to the revelations of what Hannibal was, and what he had done. That love hadn't been .... well, real.

If only things could have been different, Will told himself, standing up and turning away from the man behind the prison bars. But they weren't. They never could have been.

There was no good reason for what Hannibal had done.

At least, none that he could accept. No matter what Hannibal tried to tell him, he would never believe that those murders had been committed out of love.

That would, in a way, make him at least partially responsible for them.

That was something he couldn't accept. He would never be able to understand what Hannibal had done, or why he had done it. He didn't want to know the reason.

Without another word, he walked out of the room, leaving only silence behind him.