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Title: Spread Too Thin
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sequel to "Stranger Things Have Happened."
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 was spreading himself far too thin.

Will leaned against the bathroom sink, studying his face in the mirror. There were dark circles under his eyes, and he looked as though he hadn't slept at all.

Well, he'd barely slept, actually. He'd gotten a couple of hours of sleep, then he had awakened, tossing and turning until he'd dropped off again just before dawn.

He'd managed to get another couple of hours' sleep before his alarm had gone off, and he'd had to get up. He was wide awake now, thanks to a long shower, but he knew that he looked terrible. It would be obvious to Jack, and everyone around him, that he hadn't been sleeping.

He didn't want to go to sleep. He didn't want to sleepwalk again, and see his own death behind his closed eyelids. He didn't want to start having horrible nightmares.

So far, he hadn't seen his death in dreams as much as he'd seen it in waking visions. But he was sue that the images were there, caught somewhere in his subconscious mind.

He already saw enough of them in his unguarded moments.

He wasn't sleeping well because he didn't want to let himself sleep, even though he knew that sooner or later, it was going to backfire on him.

At some point, he would end up dropping off to sleep between classes, or when he was sitting on the couch at night reading a book, or grading papers.

He would end up falling asleep, and he would probably see his own death again, only this time it would be in glorious technicolor detail, with every moment etched onto his mind in crystal clarity. He would see how he was killed -- but he was sure that he wouldn't know who had done it.

Not sleeping wasn't the only thing he'd been doing to make sure that he stayed run-down and tired, Will told himself as he turned away from his reflection. He was working too hard.

He'd been in the field more than usual lately, telling Jack that he could handle it. He hadn't been surprised when his boss had accepted his words without comment.

Jack needed him to help solve his cases, and Will knew it. He was shamelessly using the work that Jack had for him in the field as a way to justify his sleeplessness; he knew that if anyone professed worry as to why he looked so tired, he would use that as his excuse.

He was spreading himself far too thn, really, and he knew it. Between classes and his field work, and the fact that he was getting almost no sleep, he was headed for a breakdown.

It would be physical more than mental, that was for sure. His body couldn't keep going on little to no sleep; at some point, he was going to pass out, or something equally dramatic.

He just hoped that it didn't happen in front of a classroom full of students.

The last thing he needed to do was prove that he was definitely spread too thin by passing out in front of a room full of people. But maybe better there than at a crime scene.

Will winced at the thought as he pulled on his jeans and a sweater, then headed down the stairs to make himself a strong pot of coffee to start the day.

Oh, that would be just wonderful, wouldn't it? He could see it now -- himself fainting at a crime scene, and being told i nno uncertain terms by Jack Crawford that he had to see a doctor, that he was to take some kind of vacation. That would drive him insane. He needed to work.

He needed work to take his mind off those disturbing visions. If he was at home all the time, left to his own devices, then he could fall into one of those visions at any time.

As he made the coffee and then poured himself a cup, he sighed softly and closed his eyes, wondering how he was going to hide his obvious fatigue from Jack.

His boss was a very observant man. He was bound to say something.

His head jerked up when he heard a knock at his front door; his blue eyes widened, his hand shaking a bit as he set down his coffee cup. Who in the world would be here at this hour?

Will headed towards the front door, hesitating as he reached out to unlock and open it. Who was on the other side? Could Jack be here, ready to tell him that he wasn't looking at all well lately, and that he had to take some time off and get more rest? Or was it someone else?

Whoever it was, they would immediately see the dark circles, the pale face, the evidence of fatigue. And they would undoubtedly be worried about him.

Will sighed softly, closing his eyes for a moment. One more problem to deal with.

He reached for the doorknob, ready to turn it. But something made him hold back. He didn't want whoever was there to see him looking so terrible, so obviously fatigued.

Well, there was no help for it, he told himself sternly. He'd have to listen to a lecture, more than likely, but hopefully, he would be able to deflect any concern.

When the door swung back, he could only stand there, staring.

Hannibal stood there on his front porch, a covered basket in his hand. He had obviously brought food, and there was a bright smile on his face.

The smile dimmed as he looked at Will. He could see the concern written on the other man's face, but somehow, it didn't make him feel defensive or irritated, as it would with anyone else. It just made him feel warm and cared for to know that someone cared for his well-being.

Will opened his mouth, but no words came out. All he could do was step back, an unspoken invitation for Hannibal to enter the house.

"Hello, Will," Hannibal said as he stepped through the door.

"H-hello," Will answered, feeling as though his day had just brightened immeasurably.