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Title: Hope in Their Hearts
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Will Graham/Lee Fallon
Fandom: Hannibal/The Big C
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Will Graham or Lee Fallon, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.

***

Lee had been having a bad day. He could sense it.

Will lay in bed beside his fiancÚ, stroking Lee's hair, feeling tense and worried. Was it just his imagination, or did these bad days seem to be getting more frequent?

It had to be his imagination, he told himself firmly. Lee had promised him that he would be the first to know if things got worse; he said that Will had a right to be told.

He was right, of course. Will wanted to know everything about what was going on in Lee's treatments, wanted to be with the man he loved every step of the way, to be there for him whenever Lee needed him. Even if what he was told wasn't good news, he still wanted to hear it.

But when Lee had bad days, he more often than not wanted to protect Will from that fact, wanted him to believe that the day hadn't been all that discouraging.

Still, he knew better. He could tell when Lee was feeling particularly tired; he knew the man he loved so well by now that he could almost read Lee's mind in some ways.

So he was sure that it hadn't been a good day at all.

"It was a rough day, wasn't it, sweetheart?" he said, keeping his voice soft and gentle. He knew that Lee would probably be reluctant to acknowledge the truth of his words.

Lee nodded, sighing softly and shifting slightly to burrow against Will's chest. "Yes, it was," he said, his voice sounding weaker than it usually did. "I don't want to give up yet, because there are always ups and downs in the first few weeks. But right now, things aren't looking up."

Will tightened his hold on Lee; the words coming from his fiancÚ frightened and chilled him. He wanted to hold on to the man he loved, to protect him in every way.

But of course, that wasn't possible. He couldn't protect Lee from the future; all he could do was hope that the future would be positive, and they would be together.

"What are we going to do if it turns out this trial doesn't work for me?" Lee whispered, his voice agonized. "What's going to happen then, Will? Are we still going to get married, knowing that I might have to go somewhere else for another drug trial? Or will you just decide that it's not worth the heartache?"

Will knew that Lee didn't mean to accuse him; he wasn't that kind of person. But he was feeling scared and discouraged, and he had a right to that.

He cleared his throat, searching for the right words to express his feelings.

"This trial will work," he said, keeping his voice strong and firm. "We have to believe that, Lee. And we have to believe that the two of us are going to have a long and happy life together."

He gazed into Lee's eyes as he spoke, relieved when his fiancÚ smiled back at him and nodded, even though Lee did look more tired than usual.

"You're right," he said softly, raising a hand to stroke Will's cheek. "Sometimes I just get discouraged and I feel like I'm just marking time, Will. But I'm not. I haven't been doing that since I met you. With you in my life and in my heart, I'm really living for the first time in ages."

Will felt tears rising behind his eyes, and he blinked rapidly to keep them falling as his own hand caressed the soft silkiness of Lee's hair, then his cheek.

"You've brought me to life in a way that nobody else ever could, love," he whispered, "I'm yours, now and forever. Don't ever doubt that. Or doubt that we'll always be together."

Lee gave him a small smile, nodding, his gazed locked with Will's.

All he could do was hold his love close, feel Lee's heart beating against his own, the warmth of the slender body held so close, Lee's arms around him, breath warm on his skin.

Really, he told himself, closing his eyes and letting himself relax, all that they could do was hold hope in their hearts, and a belief that they would have the life they wanted.

If they let themselves give in to discouragement, it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. No, they had to keep looking on the bright side of everything, to keep going no matter how hard the path they were treading might be. They had to hold to every bit of hope that they could find.

They would do that, Will told himself, taking a deep breath as he made the inner vow. The two of them would keep hope alive, keep that flame burning brightly.

They would have the long life and the happiness that they wanted. They would take every moment of it, and wring all the joy from it that they possibly could.

Just that thought made him smile, hope growing within him.

He opened his eyes to look at Lee again, realizing that his lover had fallen asleep. The other man was lying in his arms, a small smile on his lips, breathing deeply and peacefully.

Will closed his eyes again, feeling peaceful and happy, he hope that was in his heart growing stronger as he drifted off to sleep, cradling him in the assurance of a future filled with love.

***