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Title: What Do You Want From Me
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
Author's Note: Sequel to "Unexpected Connections."
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.
***Will sat in front of Hannibal's cell, staring at the other man.
He couldn't make himself look away, though he wanted to. He still wasn't entirely sure just why he was here; he really didn't want to be, if he was honest with himself.
What did he want from this man? He wanted answers to his questions, of course, but there was something more that hovered just below the surface.
How had Hannibal come to have some of the connections he did? And were those powerful people somehow in possession of knowledge about Hannibal that he and the FBI hadn't had until recently? Had they used this killer to rid themselves of problems in their lives?
The thought was chilling; Will didn't want to think of the leverage that Hannibal could possibly have with any of those people, what he could hold over their heads.
If that was true, then it would be no problem for Hannibal to use that leverage to somehow waltz out of the FBI's custody, despite all the horrors that he had perpetrated.
Will could see that happening all too easily.
That was something he couldn't allow to happen; he had to make sure that Hannibal stayed here, walled in, kept away from society and innocent people.
He wasn't going to let this monster take any more lives. And he wasn't going to let Hannibal manipulate anyone else into doing it for him.
Will realized that he'd been sitting here staring, without really thinking about what -- or who -- he was looking at. He was wasting time; he should have already been talking to Hannibal, trying to draw the other man out with his questions. Instead, he'd just been woolgathering.
Hannibal sat there, staring right back at him, arms crossed over his chest. Those eyes almost made Will squirm; he hated that concentrated, obsessive stare.
But he didn't squirm; he straightened up in his chair and met Hannibal's gaze directly. He wasn't going to look away. He wouldn't be stared down.
Then Hannibal's lips curved into what could only be called a wolfish smile.
"What exactly is it that you want from me, Will?" he asked, tilting his head to the side and regarding the younger man with something of a quizzical expression. "For I assume that there is something."
Will nodded reluctantly, cursing himself as he did. He hadn't even really spoken yet, and he already felt as though Hannibal had the upper hand. Dammit.
This wasn't how he had wanted things to play out. He'd wanted to feel as though he was in control, as though he was the one who was guiding the proceedings. He should have known that Hannibal wouldn't give him that chance. They were still playing those mind games with each other.
Well, if Hannibal regarded this as a game, then so be it. It took at least two to play games, and Will had been taught by a master -- the man who sat in front of him now.
"What I want are answers," he said, keeping his voice brusque and businesslike. "How did you come to know all of the important people you know, Hannibal? What's your connection to them?"
Hannibal smiled, raising his eyebrows. Will felt a rush of anger; he knew that Hannibal was baiting him, playing with him, as a cat plays with a cornered mouse.
Hannibal did indeed have the upper hand here, and that fact made Will furious. He had all the answers, and Will was going to have to go on a fishing expedition to get them.
Or rather, if he knew Hannibal, several fishing expeditions, he thought, cursing himself for being so clumsy at making the first move to get the answers he sought. He should have known better than to make such a mistake. Hannibal was already a few steps ahead.
That was something that couldn't be allowed to happen, either. Once Hannibal took the lead, Will would be doing the chasing, which wasn't a good sign.
He already knew from bitter personal experience just what it was like to chase Hannibal, to always be those few crucial steps behind him, too late to stop whatever was going to happen.
He wasn't going to put himself in that position again.
"You of all people should know that those answers will not be forthcoming, Will," Hannibal said, shaking his head. "I cannot reveal too much about myself."
Now it was Will's turn to raise his brows. "We don't know a lot about you, that's true," he said, keeping his voice calm and steady. "But we can find out."
"I do not believe so," Hannibal said, that small, infuriating smile still playing around the corners of his lips. "I make sure to cover my tracks carefully, Will. You should realise that by now. You have been going around in circles with me for quite a while, and you know me better than anyone."
Will had to concede that truth, though he didn't like to do so. Anything that he admitted as fact gave points to Hannibal, and gave him even more of an advantage.
"You've always been above board on the surface," Will said, leaning forward. "But I have to assume that you've got something on all of these people, or they wouldn't admit to knowing you."
Hannibal smiled again, enigmatically, looking somewhat rueful.
"If you want any answers from me, then you will have to work for them," he said, his gaze not leaving Will's face. "You simply have to ask the proper questions."
Another mind game, Will told himself. Well, he should have been prepared for that. It was Hannibal's biggest asset, these games he loved to play. They were his forté.
Aloud, he only said, raising his brows, "Then you'll have to give me some time. I still have to figure out what the right questions are. But I will, you know." He smiled, trying to look relaxed and confident, though he was far from feeling that way. "I know you well, Hannibal."
Hannibal nodded, his gaze searching Will's face as though looking for the answer to an unasked question there. "Yes, you do," he murmured. "Perhaps far too well."
Ah, there was an admission that he hadn't thought he would get. Maybe he should end this on a positive note, then, and start thinking about the questions he needed to ask.
Will got to his feet, signaling that this initial meeting was over.
"Think about my question, Will," Hannibal told him, and Will felt anger spurt within him once as he heard the laughter in Hannibal's tone. "What do you want from me?"
What he wanted was to not ever have to deal with Hannibal again, Will thought, compressing his lips into a thin line and not turning to look at the other man. But he wouldn't say that.
When he did turn around to look at Hannibal, he managed to keep his face carefully blank, and to nod slowly, as though he was contemplating those words. "I'll think about it, and the next time I'm here, I'll have an answer for that -- and some questions for you," he said, slowly and deliberately.
"I look forward to hearing them," Hannibal told him, that small smile still on his lips. "And perhaps, Will, if you are quite lucky, I'll even be able to answer them."
He had no answer for that. All he could do was nod curtly, and stalk down the corridor that led out of the area where Hannibal's prison cell was.
Hannibal might have won the first round, but he'd be better prepared for the next one.
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