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Title: Traitor To Love
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.
***"You're a traitor to what we've shared, Will."
Hannibal's voice was quiet and steady, but the words made Will stare at him in disbelief. He couldn't believe that this man would say such a thing.
Of course, he hadn't thought that he would be here, either, sitting across from Hannibal's cell and wishing that there was more than a glass wall between them.
"What did we share, Hannibal? Hmmm?" he asked, genuinely wanting to know just how this man thought he was a traitor to anything. "We never really had a friendship. You tried to murder me more than once, and you never gave my feelings so much as a second thought."
"I tried to remake you," Hannibal corrected him with a supercilious look. "I attempted to make you become something more than what you are, Will. You should thank me for that."
Will almost wanted to laugh; he could hardly believe the hubris of this man -- no, this monster -- who was sitting here daring to lecture him.
Hannibal actually believed the nonsense he was spouting.
That was what amazed Will the most -- that this man could actually buy into the words he was saying. Will knew they weren't true, and never had been.
Hannibal hadn't wanted to remake him. Hannibal had merely seen him as an experiment, something to be toyed with and then thrown away when he was done with it.
There had been an uneasy friendship between them at one time. He would concede that. But had he ever truly trusted Hannibal? Looking back, he didn't think that he had. He'd always felt that there was something wrong with this man, something that he couldn't quite get to the bottom of.
Well, he knew what it was now. Hannibal was a conscienceless serial killer, someone who could take life and not care about what he'd done.
Hannibal lived to satisfy his own appetites -- of various kinds. Nothing more.
The thought of becoming like him in any way made Will shudder with repulsion.
He would never be like Hannibal. He didn't have this man's appetite for killing. He didn't take delight in destroying, as Hannibal did. He never had, and never would.
He wasn't a traitor to anything -- certainly not love. But of course, Hannibal didn't see love like normal people did, Will told himself. Maybe all that he'd done was his sick, twisted definition of love. But it wasn't love, not at all. And Will recoiled from it with every fiber of his being.
Hannibal was the traitor. He was the one who had betrayed their friendship, the one who had driven a wedge between them with all that he'd done, and had wanted to continue doing.
Hannibal had wanted Will to be a reflection of himself, to become the same kind of ruthless killer. And Will knew that no matter what, he could never be like that.
He was stronger than Hannibal, or anyone else, gave him credit for being.
"You could have become so much, if you would have surrendered yourself to my guidance," Hannibal said, sounding wistful. "You could have been magnificent, Will."
"I would have been a killer," Will said, almost spitting the words. "I would have become a conscienceless monster, like you. That isn't magnificence. It's pathetic."
Hannibal looked taken aback for a moment -- then for a second, only a second, anger flashed across his features. WIll saw that anger clearly; he knew that his terse assessment of the other man had gotten to Hannibal more than anything else he could have said.
That had always been Hannibal's weakness, hadn't it? he asked himself. The fact that he thought so highly of himself. It was what had eventually brought him down.
Hannibal had always believed in his own infallibility far too much. And that would always be his downfall, even though he would never admit that fact -- or believe it.
He had lost. Will had won. And this was going to be their last meeting.
"You're out of my life," Will said softly, knowing that Hannibal could hear every word as clearly as if he was screaming them out. "And good riddance."
"I loved you, Will," Hannibal whispered, shaking his head, that strange veil of wistfulness still in his voice. "But you should know better than anyone else that hatred can be just as strong an emotion as love. You do not want my hatred turned on you. Don't be a traitor to the love I have for you."
Will stood up, regarding the other man dispassionately. "You never loved me," he said. "You loved what you wanted to make of me. Never me, the person I am. You're not capable of it."
With that, he turned and left the room without another glance.
If anyone had been a traitor, it was Hannibal, he told himself as he walked through the corridors of the building that led back out into the world. He had betrayed their friendship.
He wasn't going to let Hannibal's last words bother him, Will insisted to himself. But somehow, he knew that he was going to keep hearing their echo in his mind for a very long time to come.
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