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Title: The Last Word
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Table: Quotables, Part 2, tv_universe
Prompt: "Out of your suffering will rise my victory."
Author's Note: Sequel to "Running From the Monsters."
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.


He couldn't believe that he was here yet again.

Will leaned back in his chair, staring at Hannibal but not saying a word. He crossed his arms over his chest, trying to give the impression that he could wait forever.

Of course, he couldn't. He was here again, only a few days after he'd sworn that he was walking away from Hannibal for the last time, still trying to get the answers he sought.

Hannibal was just as tight-lipped, just as determined not to give him those answers, to torment him as much as possible. He had to know that Will felt he was slowly going insane, searching the depths of mind for those missing pieces, never quite able to access them.

Those blank spaces could be filled; he was sure of it. He just needed the right information for those jagged edges to seal themselves together, for those mental pictures to come to light.

His memories could be intact again. Hannibal held the key; he only had to be persuaded to turn it in the lock to open the door to all that Will needed to know.

It was getting him to do it that was the tricky part.

Hannibal knew that Will was suffering; Will could see that in his eyes. He was enjoying the fact that Will was going through hell.

"You enjoy making me suffer, don't you?" The words came out unbidden; they rose to his lips before he could think about what he was saying. "You're really getting a kick out of this."

Hannibal raised one brow, a small smile lifting the corners of his lips. "Out of your suffering will rise my victory, Will," he said, his voice measured and steady. "And you know that I like to win." He leaned back, crossing his arms over his chest in an obvious imitation of Will's own stance.

Hannibal was playing with him, the way a cat plays with a mouse before the claws come out and the paw swipes down with deadly intent. Will knew that.

This was all a game to him; he cared nothing for what his victim might be feeling. Hannibal was still experimenting with him, just as he had done when all this had started.

"You won't win," Will stated, wishing that he could think of something to say that would throw Hannibal off his game, something that would give the other man pause and make him spill some secret that he hadn't been planning to divulge. He wanted to shock Hannibal, even make him angry.

"Are you so sure of that?" Hannibal asked, that small smile still on his face. "I may be the one behind bars, Will, but you are the one who seems to be imprisoned."

His nemesis was right about that. And Will knew that he wouldn't be free of the metaphorical bars that surrounded him until he could fill in those blank spaces within himself.

But he couldn't do that without Hannibal's cooperation.

Those spaces were silent, staring at him, demanding answers, desperately wanting to be filled in, to become whole. He doubted more and more if that would ever happen.

Hannibal would never give him what he wanted. He knew that his nemesis would keep taunting him with the fact that he had in his possession all of the facts that Will needed to know.

Those facts would never be given to him. If he could ever get Hannibal to tell him anything, he would never be able to know for sure if what he was being told was the absolute truth, a mixture of fact and fiction, or an outright lie. He could never trust Hannibal to be honest with him.

This torment would go on and on, until it either drove him over the edge, or he learned how to come to terms with not being able to fill in those blanks, and closed the door on them.

Could he do that? Would he ever be able to make peace with the past? He was going to have to try, because it was the only way he would maintain his own sanity.

Will sighed softly, shaking his head in a pitying way.

"You're so focused on getting the better of me," he said, his voice deceptively soft, hiding the steel behind his words. "Yet you're the one behind bars, and I'm a free man."

Hannibal only raised a brow at him again, looking around the cage he was sitting in. "I may not be a free man, Will, but neither are you," he answered, his own voice barely above a whisper. "You are a prisoner of your own mind. I offered you a way out of that prison, but you turned your back on me."

"And I'd do it again," Will told him, deciding not to mince words. He was tired of these mind games. He was sick of always trying to fence with Hannibal, and never getting the upper hand.

He was done with it. He'd make peace with the past, somehow, and leave it at that.

He was tired of letting Hannibal force this suffering on him. He wasn't going to deal with it any more. He'd take the reins firmly into his own hands, and guide his own future.

"I'm still in a better place," Will told him, his own smile spreading over his face. "Because I can choose to make peace with my situation. Yours has been forced on you. And it isn't going to change."

With that, he stood up, casting a victorious glance at the man inside the cage.

As he walked out, he couldn't help thinking that it felt good to have the last word.