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Title: Waking From A Nightmare
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Fandom: Hannibal
Rating: PG-13
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 felt as though he was just waking up.

Will sat in his car, unable to turn the key and start the engine. He knew what he needed to do, but something was holding back from doing it.

He needed to drive to Baltimore, to Hannibal's house. He needed to go inside that house, to look around, to put the memories that the place held behind him.

Hannibal wouldn't be there. No one would. There would be nothing to greet him but furniture covered with plastic dust sheets; there was no life in that house now. The grisly remains of Hannibal's crimes had been cleared from the basement by the FBI; nothing remained but memories.

Of course, Hannibal's belongings were still there; they hadn't been disposed of yet, even though he would never get them back. They would simply stay there.

Well, until someone else bought the house, anyway, Will told himself. Whoever took over the place could decide what they wanted to do with those remnants.

He didn't want anything from the place for himself.

There was nothing for him there; he knew that. But he needed to walk through the house once more, to exorcise all of the memories from his mind.

He felt as though he was waking from a nightmare that he'd been stuck in for far too long -- a nightmare that had finally come to an abrupt -- and welcome -- end.

Hannibal had been at the center of that nightmare, directing all of the movements of the intricate dance that went on inside of it. He should have realized long before he did that Hannibal had never been anything more than an instigator, the director of a play that might have never ended.

If Hannibal had his way, it would have simply gone on and on.

Or would it? Will asked himself, shuddering inwardly. Would it have kept going indefinitely, or would Hannibal have gotten tired of it and written him out of the action?

A part of him wanted to believe that there had been some kind of friendship between the two of them, albeit a sick and twisted one. He didn't want to think that he'd been no more than a pawn.

But he might as well accept it. That was exactly what he had been.

Hannibal was a serial killer, a remorseless murderer. He considered everyone in the world beneath him; he killed with impunity, and he was more than capable of killing anyone, even those he thought of as friends. Even those that he claimed to care for, Will thought with a stab or pain.

Look at what he'd done to Abigail. And had tried to do to Will himself, more than once. Hannibal wasn't capable of truly caring about anyone but himself.

That had been part of the nightmare, Will told himself. Realizing that where he'd thought he had a friend, in truth, he had the worst enemy he'd ever been pitted against.

But in the end, he'd been the one to win at their final confrontation.

Or had he? He sighed softly, rubbing a hand over his face. Hannibal had turned himself in. Hannibal had seemingly wanted him to feel that he was the bad guy in all of this.

He wasn't the one who had killed hundreds, possibly even thousands, of people, Will thought fiercely. He wasn't the evil one here. Hannibal was.

That was Hannibal's way of making the nightmare even worse -- to make him feel as though he had somehow been the one to do something wrong, when he hadn't. He had done the right thing, and if he could change the outcome of his actions, he wouldn't. Not for one moment.

He'd done what he had to do to keep a killer behind bars and out of society. The only reason he felt residual guilt was because of the mind games that Hannibal had played with him.

He had done what he'd had to do. He had done his job, and the friendship that he'd somehow felt was lost had never been a real friendship at all.

That was something he'd never had from anyone, and never would.

Sighing softly, Will placed both hands on the steering wheel, staring out of the windshield. He had to make himself drive to Baltimore and go into that house.

If he wanted the nightmare to end, he had to do it himself. No one else was going to it for him; he knew that. He had to be the one to take the initiative, to face his memories and bury them, to close the door on the past. And if he didn't take this first step, then he'd never be able to do that.

Taking this first step was going to be the hardest part, the most difficult thing that he'd done since waking from this nightmare. But he could do it.

The steps after this would come more easily. They had to.

Will took a deep breath as he reached for his car keys, putting them into the ignition and turning them. The engine sprang to life, and he put the car in gear.

He didn't look back at his house as he drove down the winding road that led to the highway. He was going to do this, and then he would be well on his way closing all of the doors to the past.

At least, he hoped that he would. But he wondered about that.

Something told him that those memories would be very hard to lock away.