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Title: Live To Fight Another Day
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #323, Blade
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.


The blade hadn't hurt going in. Not at first.

Will winced as he stretched slightly, testing the stitches in his side. This was when it hurt like hell, when he reminded himself of what Hannibal had done to him.

How could he have ever trusted such a monster? Why had he ever thought that Hannibal was his friend? He'd been a fool, and he had almost paid for that foolishness with his life.

Trusting Hannibal had been the biggest mistake he had ever made. He'd found that out when those visions had started coming to him during the time he'd spent in prison, when he had managed to figure out everything that Hannibal had done to him. He would never trust like that again.

Letting people into his life was a mistake; he knew that now. Even those that he'd thought were his friends had turned their backs on him, abandoning him.

People who should have fought for him, believed in him, had instead gone over to Hannibal's side, believing all that the hideous monster had said about who he was.

He would never trust those gullible idiots again.

That had been his downfall for all of his life, hadn't it? Will told himself with a soft sigh. He had always let people get too close to him, and he'd gotten burned as result.

But in the last few years, he'd learned to back away. He had begun to put up walls between himself and other people, and nto simply because of his empathy.

He'd always felt oddly divorced from the world because of his singular abilities, and that had been one layer of walls around him that isolated him from others. But still, he'd always been willing to trust people that he got to know a little, and he had always ended up being hurt by that trust.

So trusting definitely wasn't his strong suit, Will thought with a wry smile. He'd proven that time and time again, but his trust in Hannibal had nearly been his undoing.

He still didn't quite understand why Hannibal had wanted him in jail, other than for the pleasure of being able to break him down, of bringing him to his lowest point.

And then being able to build him back up again, in Hannibal's image.

He had been so sure that tricking Hannibal into believing that he was doing just that, turning Will to the darker side of his nature, would be the way to capture the bastard.

Instead, that ploy had nearly gotten him killed. He didn't believe for one moment that Hannibal had intended for him to survive; he had wanted both Will and Jack dead.

And as for Hannibal "forgiving" him .... He snorted at the memory of those hypocritical words. He had nothing that he had to be "forgiven" for. He'd done nothing wrong; he had tried to bring a conscienceless murderer of innocents to justice. He wasn't the one who had committed evil acts.

Those words had cut into his consciousness with the same intensity that the silver blade had cut into his body; they had been all that he could hear for a few moments.

They'd made anger flash through him; the fact that Hannibal had actually tried to put the blame for all of his on him only pointed out to a greater extent how immoral that monster was.

The fact that he could perpetrate such horrific crimes and yet feel that he had done nothing wrong was only proof of how twisted he was, and Will shuddered at the thought of how close he'd let that insanity come to him. At one point, he'd even been in danger of embracing part of it himself.

How could he have ever trusted Hannibal, or thought that he was a friend? And why did he still feel so betrayed by what Hannibal had inevitably done?

He gingerly touched the wound on his side, still able to close his eyes and feel the pain when the blade had first dug into his flesh, the thought that had flashed through his mind.

He had been sure that he was going to die then and there.

Some might think that Hannibal had spared his life deliberately, but he didn't believe that for a moment. No, Hannibal had wanted him dead. That blade was supposed to have killed him.

Fortunately, it hadn't. He would live to fight another day -- and the next time he came face to face with that monster who would always haunt his dreams, he intended to win.

The next time he and Lecter faced off against each other, he wouldn't be helpless, as he'd been the first time, and he wouldn't underestimate Hannibal's evil, as he had the second time. That underestimation of how far his enemy would go had almost gotten him killed.

And it had gotten Abigail killed, he thought, tears filling his eyes. If he'd been more careful, if he hadn't left too much up to chance, that might not have happened.

Or would it have? Will took a deep breath, pushing the memories of Abigail's death away from him. It hadn't been his fault. Hannibal was the one who had killed her.

That death had been another blade slicing through his heart.

Hannibal couldn't be allowed to dispatch anyone else he cared about. If that monster got to one more person that he considered a friend, even one, it would be his fault.

Because in the end, he'd been taken by surprise, which he shouldn't have been. He hadn't been strong enough to fight Hannibal, or clever enough to know what he would do.

That bastard had known that seeing Abigail murdered before his eyes, seconds after finding out that she was still alive, would unman him, unbalance him. Hannibal had counted on that when he'd drawn Will into that last embrace, then used the gleaming silver knife to gut him.

He could still feel the pain that had run through his body, like ice and flame at the same time. It still made him wince, just the memory of it.

That blade had been so small, yet it could have ended his life. He had simply been lucky that the paramedics had been able to get there in time to keep him from bleeding out.

He and Jack were both alive by luck, and by chance.

Maybe Hannibal was fooling himself into thinking that he had allowed the two of them to live, but Will didn't believe that was the case. He knew that Hannibal wanted his death.

To Hannibal, he was now the enemy, and he needed to be destroyed. And he knew that such a monster would settle for nothing less than his complete annihilation.

The thought made him shudder; he didn't want to think about his next meeting with Hannibal, not now. It was still too soon. He knew that the next time they were face to face, one of them wouldn't come out of that scenario alive -- and Will didn't intend for that victim to be himself.

Somehow, he would find a way to defeat Hannibal. But he would put his adversary behind bars, rather than kill him. For a man like Hannibal, captivity would be a living death.

He wouldn't have to use a blade to do it. But the weapons he would use to bring Hannibal down would be just as deadly -- and he would wield them with no mercy.

He had survived the thrust of that blade for a reason.

Will smiled at that thought, a grim smile that didn't reach his eyes.

He had lived. He would fight another day. And the next time, he would win.