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Title: Predator and Prey
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Word Count: 1,174
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.
***Hannibal was a predator. He'd always known that.
From the very first, Will had always had the sense that Hannibal was the kind of person who would enjoy hunting others down. It was simply part of who he was.
But he hadn't realized just how much of a predator Hannibal was until it was too late, he thought grimly as he looked through the bars of his cell.
It was because of Hannibal that he was here, in what was effectively prison. Oh, it might be called a mental institution, but it wasn't. It was a prison, plain and simple. And if Hannibal had his way, then he would be in here for the rest of his life, with no hope of escape.
Was this what Hannibal had wanted from the beginning? Simply someone to take the fall for his crimes, someone to use as a kind of experiment and then toss away when he was finished?
Of course that was all he had been to Hannibal, Will thought bitterly. They had never been real friends. That monster didn't know what friendship was.
The horrible thing was that no one believed the truth about Hannibal.
No one would listen to him, not even Jack. Everyone thought he was the killer, that he was the one who had committed Hannibal's horrific crimes.
For a while, he'd even been tricked into believing it himself. Hannibal had been clever; he had to admit that. The bastard had made him doubt himself.
But his eyes were opened now. He would never again fall victim to Hannibal's lies and manipulation, never again blindly believe anything that Hannibal said. He knew his nemesis for the monster that he was, and he'd never be fooled again. He had torn the scales away from his vision once and for all.
If only someone would believe him!
Everyone, even the people he'd put his trust in and thought were his friends, seemed to have turned against him. They were all in Hannibal's corner.
Hannibal had neatly entrapped him, giving him nowhere to turn, no one to trust. Hannibal was the predator, and he was the prey who was being slowly crushed in those slavering jaws.
Will had no doubt that Hannibal was laughing at him now.
Why wouldn't he be? Will had done exactly what he wanted. He'd been the mouse in the maze, turning this way and that, but always being herded towards the black hole that Hannibal had intended for him to fall into. He had fallen into that monster's trap far too easily.
Well, he'd learned his lesson now, that was for sure. He would never be able to fully trust anyone again, not even people who he had trusted in the past.
It had been a bitter lesson to learn, but he had learned it well. Even if he thought that someone had earned his trust, he would never be sure of them. Never again.
It was too easy to allow someone to stab him in the back.
What was Hannibal doing now? Had he already lost his fascination with Will? Was he, even now, searching for his next victim, his next patsy, the next person to fall prey to his machinations?
Will had no doubt whatsoever that he was. But something told him that Hannibal wasn't finished with him yet, that their slow dance wasn't quite over.
He might be here behind bars, but he would find some way to make someone believe him. He would get out of here, and he would make Hannibal pay for all that he had done. Not only to him, but to other innocent people who had suffered by his command.
Will's fists clenched in anger, his nails digging into his palms. It was so frustrating to be here, to know the truth and to be unable to convince anyone else of it.
Not only that, but he had no earthly idea how he was going to manage to get out. He was fresh out of ideas, and for all he knew, he might be forced to spend the rest of his life in this hell.
Or his life could very well be ended by the death penalty.
The thought sent a chill down Will's spine, and he shuddered in the wake of a sudden fear. What if that did happen? What if he became the fall guy for Hannibal's crimes?
No one would believe him when he protested. They hadn't believed him so far, and he had no faith that anyone would listen to his pleas in the future.
Was that what Hannibal wanted? To crush his prey like the predator he was, to snuff out yet another life, one that he had pretended to care about? Revulsion overtook Will, and for just a moment, he felt as though he was going to throw up. How could he have been so foolish?
He had always known that Hannibal was a predator, and yet he'd let himself fall into this trap. He hadn't seen this coming, but he should have. A part of him should have known.
Something had been wrong about Hannibal from the very beginning. He just hadn't had enough experience with Hannibal's particular kind of evil to recognize just what he was.
And now, it might very well be far too late.
Will took a deep breath, closing his eyes and trying to calm himself. It wasn't too late. He still could have a hope of exposing Hannibal for what he truly was.
A killer. A murderer. A predator. That was all he'd ever been. He was a monster, and Will didn't care what had shaped him into the vile being that he was. All he cared about was getting out of here, and making sure that Hannibal took his place behind bars, where he could never hurt anyone again.
How he was going to manage that, he had no clue. But somehow, he would. He would bring that predator to justice, and he himself would be vindicated.
But first, he had to gain the trust of someone, anyone, who could help him.
That would take some thought, and some talking. Will wasn't sure that he'd be able to convince anyone of the truth of his words, but he had to try.
That was his only hope. He took another deep breath, then steepled his fingers under his chin, thinking about just who might be able to help him the most.
Ah. He knew just the person. He almost smiled as the thought came to him.
Convince them of what Hannibal was, and he could convince the world.
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