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Title: Anyone But Him
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: One-shot.
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.
***Why did he have to feel this way about Hannibal?
Will clenched his fists on the desk, sighing before he closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. He shouldn't feel this way. He had no right to these emotions.
He couldn't fall for the man who his therapist. He had a professional relationship with Hannibal, and something of a friendship. That was all. He couldn't have more.
Besides, couldn't Hannibal get in serious trouble if he had any kind of a romantic relationship with a patient? That wasn't something Will wanted to contemplate. If he got Hannibal into hot water by feeling this way, then the other man wouldn't thank him for it.
Actually, something like that would probably make Hannibal despise him, especially if Will caused him to lose his license to practice psychiatry and cost him his livelihood.
Will leaned forward, burying his face in his hands and suppressing a groan. How had things come to this? Why did he feel this way about a man he couldn't be with?
When had it started? He couldn't pinpoint one moment in time.
Maybe the feeling had simply developed gradually, over the weeks that he'd been Hannibal's patient. Yes, that had to be it. They hadn't just sprung up out of nowhere.
Of course they hadn't, he told himself firmly. These feelings had taken time to grow. They'd taken root at some point, but he had no idea just when that had happened.
He shouldn't have allowed it to happen. He had no reason to feel this way. Hannibal had given him no indication that those feelings were returned, or ever could be. He didn't even know if Hannibal was gay, for heaven's sake. There had been no indication of that, either.
No, Hannibal played everything close to the vest. Will knew next to nothing about him, even though he had revealed more about himself than he had to any other living soul.
That made him feel vulnerable, and maybe that was one of the reasons he'd let himself fall for Hannibal. Maybe it was because Hannibal knew so much about him that no one else did.
Or maybe it was just because Hannibal was so utterly fascinating.
Was that only because he didn't know anything about this man's past, and the more that he revealed about himself, the more he wanted to know about the person who was listening?
That was a possibility, he conceded. He might not have real romantic feelings for Hannibal at all. Maybe it was just their proximity, the way they'd been thrown together.
No, it had to be more than that. Will shook his head, dismissing that last thought. He was drawn to Hannibal in a way that he never had been to anyone else; when he was near the other man, his heart beat faster, his palms were sweaty, and he felt like a high school kid with his first crush.
No one else had ever made him feel like this. He didn't that anyone else could affect him in this way. There was just something about Hannibal that was impossible for him to resist.
But he had to resist it, because if he didn't, then he would end up making a fool of himself, and that was the last thing he wanted to do.
What exactly was it about the other man that drew him like the proverbial moth to a flame? Will couldn't put his finger on it. There was no one specific thing that he could point out; it was everything about Hannibal, so many different things that coalesced into the entire person.
He really couldn't even say that, he thought with another sigh, because he didn't know the entire person. He wasn't even close. He didn't know how to break down the wall between them.
Maybe that was a good thing, he told himself. Because falling for Hannibal could be dangerous for them both. It wasn't something that would work out in the long run.
He wasn't meant to be with anyone. Relationships weren't his forté.
Every time that he'd ever gotten close to having a relationship, he'd pulled back. He hadn't been comfortable enough to let anyone else get inside his head. Not in the way that Hannibal had.
Besides, what made him think that Hannibal would even be interested in him? He wasn't exactly the kind of man who anyone who want to take a chance on.
Oh, he was nice-looking enough. But Hannibal knew about his past, his deepest darkest secrets. Well, at least some of them. And Hannibal knew the of the torturous, twisted labyrinth of his mind. That was enough to give anyone pause, and make them think twice about being involved with him.
Still, if Hannibal could be interested in him, despite all that he knew .... for just a moment, Will let that thought lift his spirits and make them soar to the clouds.
But in the next moment, he was shaking his head again. He couldn't do this. It was too risky, for both of them. It was too much of a professional risk for Hannibal, and a personal one for himself.
Hannibal knew him too well. He was too vulnerable. He had no safety net.
He should have fallen for anyone else. Anyone but Hannibal. Anyone but him. This wasn't right, but he had no way of controlling his emotions. They had taken him over.
There was no way that he could stop the roller-coaster ride he was on. It was running away with him, and he could do nothing but hold on for dear life.
These feelings for Hannibal had been growing within him for far too long for him to put a stop to them now. And he didn't know where they would lead. For all he knew, he would end up blurting out how he felt to Hannibal in one of their therapy sessions, throwing caution to the wind.
Will shook his head, smiling wryly. No, he wouldn't do that. It would be folly. It would be emotional suicide, really, to lay himself that bare before anyone, even Hannibal.
There was no way that he could confess to how he felt unless he knew that there was some hope. He needed that safety net to fall back into. He needed some sort of guarantee.
But would Hannibal ever confess his own feelings aloud?
That remained to be seen, he thought, with another wry smile. But in his heart, he doubted it. Hannibal wasn't the kind of man to make that kind of a confession.
So, what was he supposed to do, then? Just go through the rest of his life feeling this way, and trying to accept the fact that he and Hannibal could be nothing more than patient and therapist?
Well, they were already something more than that. In an odd way, they were friends and colleagues. But anything other than that was a grey area, something that he hadn't dared to think about outside of dreams and fantasies that he was sure could never come to fruition.
What if they could? Will sighed again, starting to sink into a fantasy of being held in Hannibal's arms, of that mouth on his, those hands roaming over his naked body ....
He opened his eyes, taking a deep breath and pushing the mental images away, slamming a door on them. He couldn't indulge in those fantasies now. They were far too tempting.
He had to think more realistically. He had no choice in the matter.
Why did he have to fall for Hannibal? Why did he have to care for someone who more than likely could never love him back? Why did his heart have to steer him so wrong?
If only it was anyone but Hannibal, this would be so much easier. Even if it was a colleague he worked with through the FBI, it would be much simpler for him to start a relationship with them. But there were just too many dangers involved in a relationship with Hannibal, too many unknowns.
So he would sit there in their next therapy session, seated across from the man he was falling in love with, and try to talk to him openly and honestly while hiding his true feelings.
With each therapy session, that got harder and harder for him to do.
But he had to, Will told himself with a sigh. As he'd already told himself, he had no choice. He couldn't just plunge into that seas of unknown factors. They both had too much to risk.
If only it was anyone but him. But the problem was that it was him, and that Will had no idea how to turn his feelings off. And even if he could, he didn't want to.
If only, he thought, sighing again as he pushed his chair back and got to his feet.
It was time for him to leave for his therapy session. Another night of holding back his feelings, of wanting to reach out when he was absolutely positive that it was the wrong thing to do.
Maybe tonight would be the night that Hannibal finally reached out to him, gave him some clue of how he might be feeling, held out some hope for the future.
Will smiled at the thought. He doubted that it would happen, but hope would always spring eternal.
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