Title: A Fleeting Attraction
Pairing: Will Graham/John Reese
Fandom: Hannibal/Person of Interest
Author's Note: Sequel to "Shadows Over the Light."
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely John Reese or Jordan Hester, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***John stood there quietly, watching Will and wondering.
There was something on the other man's mind. He could tell that simply by looking at him. He was sure that Will was afraid of something -- or someone.
And he was sure that he knew who that someone was. Hannibal Lecter, John told himself grimly. That was the only person he could think of who might be on the verge of wreaking havoc in Will's life -- and he had a feeling just from seeing the man's picture that he was dangerous.
Lecter struck him as the type of person who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted -- and John didnt doubt that he wanted Will, in the most basic of ways.
Well, who wouldn't? John asked himself. The man was gorgeous.
But it wasn't just that. There was something else about Will that drew John to him, something that went far beyond the surface, something deeper that simply how he looked.
He could explain why he felt the way he did. It didn't really make sense to him. He just knew that he had never been attracted to anyone in the way that he was to Will Graham.
Was was it about Will that was so mesmerizing? he asked himself. He studied Will surreptitiously, even as he pretended to look at some of the books on a nearby shelf. There was nothing outwardly magnetic about him, except perhaps for his extraordinary good looks.
But those looks .... that face would turn anyone's head.
There was just something about him that commanded attention, an electricity that seemed to surround him like a nimbus, an intelligence that shone from those blue eyes.
Lecter might want this man, but John wanted him, too. And John was determined to keep him safe, no matter what that might take. He would manage to put Lecter out of commission.
A memory stirred in the back of his mind, of a time when he'd said the same thing -- that he was going to be a protector, no matter what the cost might be.
He firmly pushed that memory away, refusing to countenance it. He wasn't going to listen to voices and ghosts from his past. The past was over and done with. He couldn't get it back.
He had buried the past. And it would stay buried, where it belonged.
Besides, he didn't want to go back into his past. It was too painful to deal with; it was something that he'd made his own peace with a long time ago. He didn't need to pull it out and revisit it just because feelings were stirring within him again that he hadn't had in a very long time.
Thinking back to the past was only going to take his mind off the present situation, and he didn't need to do that. He had to concentrate on the here and now, and what he had to do.
Right now, his job was to keep Will safe, to remove any threat to him. And he would do just that, he told himself. Will deserved to be kept safe. He deserved peace of mind.
John would make sure that he had that peace, however it was accomplished.
He wasn't going to let Hannibal Lecter, or anyone else, back Will into a corner. Will's enemies might not know it yet, but he now had a powerful weapon on his side.
Of course, he would have to manage to get into Will's confidence, to gain his trust. And John had the feeling that Will wasn't a man who trusted quickly or easily.
But he had to break down those walls that Will had obviously put up around himself. He had no choice in that matter. He had to put his attraction aside, concentrate on what he was here for, and try to work around his personal feelings, even if that was the hardest thing he had ever tried to do.
John cleared his throat, unsure of just how to start this conversation. "Will .... I may be wrong, but I think something's bothering you," he began, his voice soft. "What's on your mind?"
Will shook his head, then looked up at John. When their gazes met, he heaved a sigh and returned to his chair behind the front counter, clasping his hands and looking at John again.
"I've got a problem," Will said softly. "One that I can't solve."
"Then you might want to let me help you with that," John told him, moving to the counter and leaning on it, resting one elbow close to Will's clasped hands. "That's what I do, after all."
"What? You solve people's problems for them?" Will smiled a little, a small, fleeting expression that John almost wasn't sure he'd actually seen. "This is a really big problem, John. It's not one that can just be easily solved and expected to vanish. It's going to stick like glue."
"All the more reason to get help," John told him, his voice stronger now. "If you feel like you want to talk about it, I'm here to listen. And I'm here to help, if I can."
Oh, he could help, all right, John thought. That's why he was here.
He would help Will. If it was Hannibal Lecter who was causing that look of harried concern on the other man's face, then Lecter would be summarily dealt with, and Will would be free.
Just being this close to Will was making his pulse race. All he wanted to do was reach out to the other man, to take his hands and tell him that everything was going to be all right.
He couldn't do that, of course. But he might be able to ease his way into telling Will just what he did for a living, and to make it understood that the whole reason he was here and had sought Will out was that he knew there was some kind of trouble surrounding him.
What he wanted to do was sit down and explain everything to Will, to let him know that he wasn't alone. That he had help, and that he didn't have to fight his battles single-handedly.
He couldn't say anything about the machine, of course. But he could take Will into his confidence in some ways. In the ways that mattered, at least for the moment.
John moved one hand to rest over Will's, their gazes meeting.
The attraction between them, the fire that had been banked, blazed into life; John wanted desperately to pull Will against him and cover the other man's lips in a long, searing kiss.
He took a deep breath, holding himself back. He couldn't kiss Will. Not now, not yet. But something told him it was going to happen in the future -- and that Will wanted it, too. He could see it in those eyes, feel it in the touch of their hands. This wasn't just a fleeting attraction.
Taking a deep breath, John nodded toward the sign on the door. "I think you should turn that over to Closed, and let me take you out to lunch. There's a lot for us to talk about."
After a moment, Will nodded and got to his feet, going to the door.
"I just have to feed Winston, and then we can go," he said, his smile hesitant, a little unsure. "He'll watch the place while we're gone. It's nearly time for my lunch hour, anyway."
John nodded, his heart pounding in his chest. What would Harold think of this? Of course, he would caution John not to say too much, to cloak his feelings, to push them away. But that wasn't possible. Not with this man. Besides, Will deserved to know the truth about why he was here.
He waited while Will fed the dog, then he held the door open for Will to go outside. John followed him, waiting while Will locked the door, then they headed down the street together.
Behind them, in the crowd, a pair of eyes narrowed as they watched.
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