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Title: What He Can't Have
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Unexpressed Thoughts."
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, shaking his head, his hands clenching in his lap.
"I don't know what I want to say," he mumbled, not looking up to meet Hannibal's gaze. "The words are there, but it's like they're trapped inside me and they don't want to come out."
"Perhaps you are expecting too much of yourself, Will," Hannibal said, his voice gentle. "You cannot push your mind to achieve things that it is not ready for."
"But I shouldn't have to deal with all these premonitions of my own death," Will said, shaking his head. "I see enough death around me every day. I shouldn't spend time thinking of my own. It just doesn't make sense to me that I'm seeing myself dead instead of the actual victims."
"You could be putting yourself in their place," Hannibal suggested, raising his brows. "You may possibly be feeling even more empathy for them than you normally do."
Will nodded, a bit reluctantly. "I guess you could be right about that," he grudgingly agreed. "But somehow, that doesn't feel like the right answer."
Hannibal shook his head, a small frown marring his brow.
"I doubt that anything will feel like the correct answer to you at the moment, Will," he said, his tone measured and even. "You are too close to all of this."
Will had to admit that Hannibal was probably right about that. He had let himself stress over this for so long, and now, the stress had become a part of him.
That was one thing he shouldn't let himself do, and he knew it. It was so easy for people who worked in the kind of field that he did to get burned out; he was sure that was what had happened to him, slowly but surely. He was getting to the point where he would be of no use to anyone.
He should stop. He knew it. But he couldn't. If he did, then more people might die, and he wouldn't be trying to help find their killers, or getting closure for their loved ones.
He couldn't do that. He couldn't turn his back on those people.
It just didn't seem right to let anyone suffer, when he might have the chance to bring them some closure and, if not peace, at least an acceptance of what had happened.
And that was the crux of things, wasn't it? he asked himself as he settled back into his chair, heaving a sigh. He pushed himself to do more, to be what everyone needed, and he was only one man. He was asking himself to do something that others didn't expect him to do.
He was asking himself to be everything to everyone, and that wasn't possible. Did he expect himself to be some kind of Superman? Was he asking himself for something he didn't have, some kind of superhuman power to take away everyone's suffering and make it all better?
He couldn't do that. He wasn't some kind of hero. He was just a man with a singular ability, one that, at this point in time, he was having a hard time dealing with.
Hannibal was regarding him with interst, his brows raised again.
"What was the sigh for, Will?" he asked, tilting his head to the side. "I can only imagine that you have come to some sort of answer within yourself, and are trying to accept it."
"I think I'm asking for something I don't have, and probably never will," Will admitted, sighing again. "I'm asking for peace of mind, and as long as I'm doing this job, I'm not going to get it. I see too much, and I feel too much. I can't expect to be at peace with any of it."
Hannibal nodded, settling back in his chair and regarding Will soberly. "I believe that you are entirely right about that. And you may see your own death because of that inner turmoil."
Will hoped that Hannibal was right about that. He didn't want to think that his premonitions of his own death, the horrible things he saw, were the actual truth of his future.
He wasn't ready for that. Not for a long time, anyway.
Death still seemed a long way off, and it wasn't something he wanted to think about in terms of his own life. He wasn't ready to contemplate his own mortality.
But these .... visions were forcing him to do just that. If he wanted peace of mind, he wasn't going to get it any time soon. He was certain of that.
"I'm asking for what I can't have," he told Hannibal, finally meeting the other man's gaze squarely. "I know that. And I might never have it, at least not as long as I'm doing this job. But I can't just stop and walk away. I have too much invested in my work."
"Your emotions are far too greatly invested in your work," Hannibal told him, shaking his head. "I have always thought so. But that is another discussion, for another day."
Did that mean that they weren't going to talk about this particular subject any longer? Will was surprised; he'd though that Hannibal would be eager to pursue this topic.
Still, he wasn't going to force the issue. It felt too uncomfortable now.
"I know they are," he said, sighing again as he got to his feet. "But I can't just turn my emotions off, Hannibal. And I don't think I'd be a good agent if I did."
"Of course you wouldn't," Hannibal told him, though his tone sounded somewhat patronizing to Will. But he brushed that thought away; Hannibal thought highly of what he did, and he knew it. He was simply agreeing with what Will was saying, that was all.
Though somehow, as he moved towards the front door to take his leave of Hannibal and go home, he had the strange feeling that Hannibal was playing some sort of game with him.
No. He pushed that thought away, slamming a door on it.
He wasn't going to be paranoid. He wouldn't imagine things that weren't there. This problem was all in his own mind; Hannibal had nothing to do with his visions.
He still hadn't been able to articulate fully what was in his mind. Something was stopping his thoughts from being expressed; he wasn't entirely sure of what he wanted to say.
The words were there, but they weren't coming out.
That was more than a little frightening for him; he'd always been able to express what was in his mind clearly, and not being able to make him feel as if he was bound and gagged.
He took one deep breath, then another, before he faced Hannibal, giving the other man a wan smile. "I think I'm just thinking about it too much. What I need is a good night's sleep, and to get all of this off my mind for a while. I just hope I don't have any more visions while I'm trying to rest."
Hannibal nodded, placing a hand on Will's shoulder as he opened the front door. "I hope not too, Will. Good night. Be careful on the drive home, and sleep well."
Will walked to his car slowly, almost wishing that he'd chosen to stay here tonight.
But he couldn't run away from his problems by hiding behind Hannibal, he told himself firmly, buckling his seat belt and starting the engine.
He couldn't just keep wishing for the peace of mind he sought. He couldn't ask for it. He had to find it for himself. He would have to face his problems head-on to find it.
That was proving to be one of the hardest things he'd ever tried to do.
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