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Title: Solving the Riddle
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Quotables, Part 2, tv_universe
Prompt: "I'm good at riddles." // "You're good at everything."
Author's Note: Sequel to "The Definition of Crazy."
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.


"I don't believe that you'll regret this decision, Will."

Will shrugged his shoulders, already feeling uncomfortable with the way that his relationship with Hannibal was changing and evolving.

He no longer felt like this man's lover. He felt at a disadvantage, as though he was no longer Hannibal's equal, but his subordinate. He didn't like that feeling.

He'd never let anyone make him feel that way before, though he ddin't have another personal relationship to compare this to. Of course, he'd dated before, but he had never been involved before Hannibal. Not like this. He had no sort of touchstone to be his base of operations.

He was flailing along in the darkness, hoping that he was doing the right thing. And a part of him was too proud to let Hannibal know how he was feeling.

Did his lover guess at what his emotions were at this moment, the tangle that his mind was? Was Hannibal just waiting for him to ask for help, for guidance?

Well, he didn't want to do that. It would wound his pride too much.

Though wasn't feeling as if he was this man's slave in some way just as wounding to his pride? Why was he willing to do that, but not willing to tell Hannibal how he felt?

He should be able to talk to the man who was his lover, shouldn't he? He shouldn't feel that he had to hold any of his emotions back. But still, he had a hard time being open with Hannibal; he couldn't help feeling that he had to keep his emotions to himself, at least for the time being.

"I feel like I'm already regretting it, in some ways," he told Hannibal, his brows drawing together in a frown. "But I told you I'd at least give it a shot, so I'm willing to do that."

Hannibal's brows rose, a questioning expression on his face.

"I don't want you to feel that you're being forced into this in any way, Will," he said, his tone very quiet. "If you have any doubts, now is the time to express them."

"Meaning that if I change my mind later, I can't back out of the bargain?" Now he was beginning to feel a little alarmed. He hadn't expected that kind of ultimatum.

He'd thought that this would just be an experiment, something that might make him feel less stressed. But now, he was starting to get the feeling that this would only add to his stress level; he wouldn't know what to expect, and that would make him even more cautious and wary.

"I .... don't think this is a good idea," Will said, holding up his hands and starting to back away, meaning to get to the front door of Hannibal's house, open it, and flee into the night.

Hannibal sighed softly, shaking his head. "I think you may be right, Will. This is something that you obviously aren't ready for at this point in time. We should put the idea aside for now."

Will nodded, feeling relieved that Hannibal had said those words. Slowly, he crossed the room to the chair that he sat in during their sessions, looking over at the other man. "So, how are we going to solve the riddle of who attacked me? There has to be a way to find out."

Hannibal sat down in his own chair, leaning forward and clasping his hands in his lap. "We have tried several ways, and it appears that my newest suggestion is closed to us."

Those words almost made Will squirm. Maybe he was being silly; maybe he should try Hannibal's suggestion. He just didn't want to be stuck in a situation that he couldn't get out of.

He wasn't ready for something that seemed so extreme. Not yet.

"You're good at riddles, Hannibal," he said, his gaze fixed on the other man. "You should be able to figure this out, even if I can't. You're better at things like this than I am."

"I'm good at everything, Will," Hannibal said with a soft laugh. "Well, good at almost everything. Yet it seems that I do not have the wherewithal to solve your problem. Not at this moment, at least. Perhaps some other ideas will come to me. And the riddle will be solved, in time."

"I hope so," Will said, sighing softly. "I hate feeling like this is hanging over my head. And I hate not knowing who did it, so he can be put behind bars for attacking a Federal agent."

A small smile played across Hannibal's lips at Will's words.

"We'll find out who attacked you, Will," he said, his voice strong and firm. To Will, the words sounded like a promise. He just hoped that ti was promise Hannibal could keep.

He had his doubts as to whether or not they would ever discover the truth behind who had attacked him. It might be a riddle that they would never be able to solve.

Though he couldn't feeling that it anyone could unravel this mystery, it was Hannibal. As he'd said, Hannibal was good at riddles; he seemed to be able to puzzle them out much more efficiently than most people could. He had the kind of analytical mind that did well with such things.

"If you can figure this riddle out, then you're a smarter man than I am," Will said, his gaze meeting Hannibal's. "I'm at the point where I'm ready to just give up on it."

"Don't do that, Will," Hannibal told him, leaning back in his chair and getting comfortable, as though they were starting a session. "Remember, I'm quite good at riddles. I may just solve this one for you yet."

Somehow, Will couldn't help feeling that those words were prophetic.