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Title: The Truth Will Set You Free
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.


"Tell me the truth, Hannibal."

Will's voice was quiet, not commanding or urgent. He knew that he probably wasn't going to get an answer from the man who faced him, but he had to try.

Now that Hannibal was safely behind bars, Will had to know why he'd done all that he had. Why Hannibal had tried to kill him, frame him for murder, and everything else.

He had his own theories as to why Hannibal had done such things. He had just been an experiment for Hannibal; the other man had wanted to see how far he could be pushed before he would turn a corner into darkness, before he would become just as evil as Hannibal was.

Hannibal wanted him to be nothing but a carbon copy of himself. He hadn't counted on the fact that Will had a mind of his own, and wouldn't be manipulated so easily.

Of course, he had been easily manipulated at first, when he had believed that Hannibal was actually his friend. What a fool he had been.

Hannibal was serial killer. He wasn't capable of caring about anyone.

"Why should I tell you the truth, Will?" Hannibal's tone wasn't bitter; he didn't sound angry. He simply sounded curious, as though he was asking a serious question.

"Because I have a right to know why you did all of those things to me," Will replied, knowing that it wasn't a good enough answer to make Hannibal tell the truth.

Hannibal merely shrugged, moving to a chair behind the wall of glass that separated them and sitting down. "You didn't tell me the truth, so why should I do you that favour?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. "You knew far too much about me that I didn't discover until it was too late."

Will almost snorted aloud. Did Hannibal really believe that he could turn this around?

"I'm an officer of the law, Hannibal," Will said, struggling to keep his own voice calm and quiet. He couldn't let his temper escalate. He couldn't let himself be pushed into anger.

"Ah, yes. I had almost forgotten that." Hannibal's tone was almost contemptuous. "But I am not referring only to your knowledge of me, Will, but also your knowledge of yourself."

Will crossed his arms over his chest, quirking an eyebrow.

"You should admit the truth to yourself, Will," Hannibal said, his own voice quiet. "You are more like me than you want to believe, more like me than you could ever know. You simply push that side of yourself away, turn your back on it. If you would embrace it, you would be so much more than you are."

"You mean that I would be like you, a reflection of yourself," Will said, almost sneering. "That's all you want, Hannibal. You just want a reflection of your evil to bask in."

Hannibal didn't answer him,; the other man merely sat there, staring into Will's eyes, not backing down. When he finally spoke, his words were barely a whisper.

"The truth will set you free in more ways than you know, Will."

Will shook his head, wishing that he could block out those insinuating words, that calm voice. He didn't believe what Hannibal was saying. He wasn't like this monster sitting in front of him.

Yes, he had a dark side to his personality. Everyone did. But the difference between him and Hannibal was that he didn't give in to that darkness. He was a good person.

He would never let himself become what Hannibal was. He was nothing like this man. He didn't give in to his dark urges; he fought them. He refused to let that dark side of who he was take him over; he knew all too well the folly of doing so. Good would always win over evil in the end.

The fact that Hannibal was in jail proved that, didn't it? But it wasn't enough to have this monster behind bars. It wasn't enough to be the winner in this game.

He needed the truth. He needed to know why all of those things had happened. He needed to hear it from the man who had caused such horrors to take place.

But he knew that Hannibal would never give him the truth.

Hannibal was still playing a game with him. He was still expecting Will to rise to his bait, to play along, to jump through hoops like a performing dog.

Well, he might have done that when they first met, without even realizing that he was doing it. But those days were over. He was no longer at the mercy of Hannibal's whims.

He might have been this man's pawn at one point, but that was no longer true. He would never let Hannibal twist him into whatever shape his whims desired again. He would never trust this man again -- and he would never believe anything that Hannibal said. He should never have done so.

"The truth might set me free, but you wouldn't know the truth if it bit you," he said, getting to his feet. "You've never known the truth, Hannibal. You only hear what you want to hear."

With those parting words, he turned and left, fully expecting to hear Hannibal say something else. But there was only silence behind him as he walked out.

He was nothing like Hannibal. He would never be that sort of a monster.

He was on the side of good. Darkness would never win with him. Never.

Will was sitting in his care before he allowed his hands to begin shaking.