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Title: Someone of Worth
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.


"You want to do what?"

Will's tone was incredulous, his blue eyes wide with shock. He hadn't expected to be confronted with an idea like this; he hadn't even though that Hannibal would come up with it.

Hannibal leaned forward in his chair, holding up a black leather dog collar with silver studs. "It's not unattractive, Will. I think it would look lovely around your neck."

"A dog collar." Will sat back, shaking his head. "You actually want me to wear a dog collar. Like one of my dogs. My pets. Is that how you see me, Hannibal? Not as a lover, not as a partner, just as some kind of interesting pet? I'm nothing more than a dog to you, am I?"

By the time he spoke the last few words, Will's voice was shaking. He pushed his chair back from the table, getting to his feet and hurrying towards the front door.

He heard Hannibal coming after him and quickened his pace, hoping that he could reach the door and get out before his lover caught up with him.

His heart felt as though it had shattered.

Did the man he loved only see him as a pet, as something to be played with and treated like a dog, and then thrown away when he had no more use for it?

He didn't want that kind of a relationship, where he was subservient to his lover. He wanted to be an equal partner, treated with love and respect by the person he was with.

He wouldn't be anyone's dog, he vowed to himself as he reached the door and reached for the knob with a trembling hand. He wouldn't stay with Hannibal if that was how his lover viewed him, as nothing more than an amusing pet. He wanted to be seen as a person of worth, not as a plaything.

'Will." Hannibal was behind him, his hand on Will's shoulder.

"What do you want?" Will knew that his voice was rough with unshed tears, but at this point, he didn't really care. He just wanted to get out of here.

"I had no idea that this would upset you so much, and I don't quite understand why," Hannibal said, his voice very soft. "Will, please sit down, and let's talk this out."

Will shook his head, anger rising in him to replace the hurt.

"What is there to talk about?" he almost snarled. "You think I'm nothing but a dog, a pet, a plaything. You apparently don't see me as a lover, as a partner, as an equal. And I won't be with someone who doesn't see me as being someone of worth. I won't be with someone who wants to debase me."

Hannibal looked startled by Will's words, his dark eyes registering surprise. "Debase you? Will, what do you mean? I have no wish to do that. None whatsoever."

"Then why do you want me to wear a collar and be your .... your pet?" Will almost choked on the words; they were so repugnant to him that he didn't want to speak them aloud.

Hannibal shook his head, reaching out to pull Will into his arms.

Will gave up trying to struggle; he simply closed hsi eyes, trying to keep the tears from falling. It was too hard to keep fighting; all he could do was let Hannibal embrace him.

"Will, I do not see you as a pet," Hannibal began, his voice firm and strong. "You are my lover, my partner. You are a person of worth to me. You always have been, and you always will be."

He took a deep breath, placing a finger beneath Will's chin to tilt the shorter man's face up to his own. "Will, the collar is not meant to debase you in any way, shape, or form," he continued, his voice softer now. "Rather, it is meant to help you stay grounded. To help you remember who you are, and what we have."

"I don't need a collar to help me to do that," Will protested, shaking his head. "I know who I am, Hannibal. Being with you helps keep me grounded."

"Will .... when you look at the collar around your neck, when you feel it, I want you to remember how very much you are loved," Hannibal whispered. "How I want to cherish and protect you. Forever."

Those words made WIll catch his breath in surprise.

"A collar is not meant to subjugate you," Hannibal continued in a soft voice. "It is meant to help you hold on to what we share, to take strength from our bond when you need it."

"I know you love me," Will whispered, tears welling in his eyes. "I don't need a collar to prove that to me. I just .... I feel like you want to make a pet out of me. To make me .... inferior."

"Oh, Will." Hannibal sighed softly, then lowered his lips to the other man's for a sweet, loving kiss. "You could never be inferior in any way. Don't you realise how much I love you? Don't you know how much I want to protect you and love you, for the rest of our lives together?"

Will nodded slowly, hoping that he was doing the right thing by agreeing to wear the collar. Hannibal seemed so set on it, and his words seemed completely sincere.

He had no reason to doubt his lover's sincerity. He had no reason to doubt Hannibal's love, or the other man's regard for him. Maybe this was all just him being overly sensitive.

They could try this for a while, and see how it worked out.

"Okay," he whispered, swallowing hard. "I'll wear it. I might not always like it, but I'll wear it. Just let me have the option of taking it off if I feel uncomfortable about it."

Hannibal nodded, a small smile curving his lips. "Will, you always have the option of taking it off, or of deciding not to wear it. I just want you to be able to use it as tangible evidence of our connection."

Will still wasn't sure about wearing the collar, but he no longer questioned his boyfriend's motivations for having him wear it. Hannibal didn't see him as a pet, or as a dog. Most importantly, his lover didn't see him as being inferior. Hannibal saw him as a partner -- which was exactly what Will wanted.

"I'm still not sure about this," he murmured, taking a deep breath. "But we can give it a try. Maybe your idea is a sound one. We'll just have to see how it goes."

"That's all I ask," Hannibal told him, holding Will more closely. "Shall we go upstaris to the bedroom and put it on you, just to see how it looks? I think it will be quite lovely."

Will took another deep breath, then nodded.

"We can do that," he said softly, smiling at his lover. It was easier than he'd thought it would be; somehow, knowing that Hannibal loved him made him want to smile.

Hannibal was right, Will thought as his lover led him up the stairs towards the bedroom. This would celebrate what they shared, and make the two of them stronger. It might take him a while to get used to wearing a collar, but he could do it. After all, his dogs did it every day.

He had to laugh at that thought. He wasn't Hannibal's pet, and had no wish to be. Wearing a collar wouldn't make him one, even though it might feel that way for a while.

But he could get used to it, if it was what Hannibal truly wanted.

He would give it a try, and see how he felt about it. If he wasn't comfortable within a week, he would take the collar off, they could throw it away, and it would have been a failed experiment.

But somehow, he didn't think that the experiment was going to fail. Something told him that this could be good for them, and that there would be some very interesting days -- and nights -- ahead.