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Title: Stray
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: 1drabble
Prompt: 27, Animal
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.


"What the hell?" Will exclaimed as he hit the brakes.

Something had just flashed across the road in front of his car on the way home, something that he was fairly sure was a dog. One that he couldn't help but stop for.

He turned the engine off, loosened his seat belt, and got out, his brow furrowed in worry. He hadn't hit the dog, thank goodness, though it had been a close call. The poor little thing was probably cowering in the trees, afraid to come out after having almost been run down.

"Come on, boy," he called, squatting down on his haunches and holding out a hand. "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm a friend. You can trust me."

Why was he kneeling here, calling to a dog?

Hannibal would tell him that he already had enough dogs; he didn't need to add yet another one to his menagerie. Six was more than enough.

But there was something about lost dogs, strays, that called to him. These animals needed a home. They needed love. They needed to be taken in by someone who cared. And, of course, Hannibal would tell him that those stray dogs were a metaphor for himself, and his own life.

That was ridiculous. He wasn't a lost dog.

Was that how Hannibal saw him, as a stray puppy who needed a home? Will almost wanted to laugh at that thought. If that was how the other man viewed him, then Hannibal really didn't know him at all. He had a core of strength within him that no one gave him credit for.

He wouldn't be able to do his job if he didn't. He wouldn't have learned how to deal with being alone, with isolating himself from most of the world, without that strength.

He might be isolated, but he wasn't a stray. He had purpose.

The little animal approached him, whining softly. Will waited patiently until the dog was close, then gently petted his head, letting the animal sniff his hand.

"Let's take you home and get you cleaned up," he murmured, noting that the dog wasn't wearing a collar. He was brown and white, and looked to be a beagle and terrier mix. He couldn't hold back a wry smile; here was another dog for what Hannibal called his "menagerie."

Instead of the crazy cat lady, he was becoming the crazy dog guy.

Carefully, he lifted the animal into his arms, and the dog didn't protest. He even settled into the passenger seat next to Will as though he belonged there.

Will smiled as he started the engine and headed for the house.

"I think your name is Max, little guy," he said, petting the dog's head again.

Max barked in answer, and Will could swear that he looked as if he was smiling.