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Title: In Spite of It All
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
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.


He was surviving, even though it wasn't easy.

Will squinted as he looked out at the waters of the lake, almost wishing that he'd brought his fishing gear with him. But he really didn't feel like fishing today.

He really didn't want to do anything, or think about anything. He wanted to let his mind drift, to sink into some kind of oblivion that he didn't have to come out of.

No, that wasn't what he wanted to do, he told himself firmly. That was what Hannibal had intended for him to do; that bastard had tried to kill him, and had left him with a scar that he would carry on his body for the rest of his life, not to mention the inner scars that didn't show.

He shouldn't poke and pry at those scars. If he did, he would rip them apart, and he'd bleed openly again. He couldn't keep going over everything in mind time after time.

It was useless, anyway. This was the way things were, and he had to learn to put the past behind him and move on with his life, if he wanted to have any kind of a future.

That was the problem. He wasn't sure that he wanted a future.

Hannibal had ripped his world apart, destroyed all that he'd believed in. He'd made a mess of everything that WIll had held dear, and he'd taken pleasure in doing it.

Friendship? That didn't exist for him any more, Will thought sourly. Hannibal had actually made him reach out at one point, believe that he had a friend, someone who understood him. Then had had taken all of that away when he'd had Will sent to prison in best frame-up job he'd ever seen.

Friends didn't do that. And it wasn't the only thing that Hannibal had done to prove that he had never been a friend, only an enemy who could never be trusted.

Friends didn't give their friends potentially fatal diseases.

Will still shuddered whenever he thought of the months he'd been dealing with encephalitis, and how, unbeknownst to him, Hannibal had been bringing on his seizures.

Hannibal hadn't wanted to help him. He'd only wanted to study him, as though he was a lab rat in a cage, or a specimen under a microscope.

That wasn't friendship. Hannibal had never truly been his friend. He was evil, rotten to the core, his soul blacker than the deepest, darkest night. Will felt ashamed to admit that he'd been so taken in by Hannibal's effusive exterior, that he'd fallen for all of those lies.

The truth was, he had wanted that friendship in his life. Needed it, even. And finding out that it had been false all along had hurt more than he'd wanted to admit.

Hannibal had apparently thought that he would be satisfied with lies, with a friendship that had never really existed. But he had underestimated Will.

Hannibal had thought that he could do anything he wanted to WIll, and that his little acolyte would always come running back to him, like a puppy to its master. He'd thought that he could kick Will down again and again, and that each time, Will would still be dependent on him, look at him as a friend.

Of course, Hannibal had never thought that he'd figure it all out, Will told himself, picking up a stone and throwing it into the lake, watching the ripples move outward.

He'd thought that Will wouldn't put two and two together. He'd thought that he had hidden his true intentions well enough that he'd never be found out.

That was Hannibal's problem. He thought too much of himself.

Well, that hubris had brought him down, hadn't it? Will sighed softly, closing his eyes. But in the end, Hannibal had won. He'd escaped, and they still hadn't been able to find him.

Will didn't doubt that sooner or later, there would be a reckoning. He and Hannibal would meet again, and only one of them would come out of the encounter alive. He had almost died during their last meeting; he was sure that Hannibal had intended for that to happen.

He'd been left there, bleeding out, staring at Abigail's dead body and wondering if he would live to see another day. He was lucky to be alive now.

He didn't believe for a second that Hannibal had meant for him to live.

That knife thrust that had gutted him and left such a horrible scar on his body had been meant to kill him. Hannibal had wanted him to bleed out helplessly and die there.

But he hadn't died, and he wasn't going to. He was surviving in spite of all that Hannibal had done to him, in spite of all the wounds of body and soul that he'd had to endure.

Someday, he was going to find Hannibal, face him again and make him pay for everything that he'd done, Will vowed. He wasn't going to kill the bastard; no, that was too good for him. He deserved a fate worse than death, and Will knew just what that fate would be.

If there was one thing Hannibal prized, it was his freedom. So Will intended to take that away from him, to lock him up behind bars, just as he'd tried to do to Will.

Being closed away from the world, being unable to commit any more horrific murders that made him feel as though he was in control, would make Hannibal slowly waste away.

That was what he wanted to see, that fading, that helplessness.

Oh, Hannibal would never show that, not on the outside. But Will would be able to look into his eyes, if they ever saw each other again, and know.

He would be able to tell that his nemesis was being slowly crushed in captivity. Hannibal would exist there, but he would never truly have what could be called a life. He wanted to take all that Hannibal prized most away from him, just as Hannibal had attempted to do to him. It was his main goal in life now.

And no one deserved losing their freedom as richly as Hannibal did. After all the pain and misery he'd caused, some payment had to be extracted.

That was why he had survived. To bring Hannibal Lecter to justice.

He'd survived in spite of Hannibal's attempt to kill him, in spite of all that had been against him. He'd survived, and he was here -- and he would have his revenge.

Will didn't know when that would happen; he only knew that it would. He would make it happen, when he was stronger; he would hunt Hannibal down, wherever he was.

At the moment, he was just out of the hospital, and still too weak to do much of anything but take care of himself. But there would come a time when he had his strength back, when he would be able to go after Hannibal, when he would be able to do much more than simply survive.

In spite of all that Hannibal had tried to do to him, he had come through his trial by fire, and he'd survived. He had to remember that. He was stronger than anyone gave him credit for.

He would keep being strong. Will's hand went to his stomach, fingers tracing over the bandages. He might not have all of his strength back yet, but he would soon.

When he did, he would do much more than survive. He would live.