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Among Us

Chapter Text

Chapter One

Chapter Summary: Will discovers the first of Hannibal's secrets. This is from Hannibal's POV....other chapters will be from Will's POV.

Chapter Tags: Cannibalism, Manipulative Hannibal, Possessive Hannibal, Will Finds Out, Mind Control

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Will dropped his fork.

Hannibal raised an eyebrow and looked at the teacher, puzzled. For once their conversation had had nothing to do with murder, and they were instead discussing art. Will naturally did not have much of an Art History appreciation background, but he observed all things carefully and had proven to have many intriguing and fresh insights on art that Hannibal respected. It was very refreshing to have a pure and unbiased opinion when debating the value of various artists. Tonight they had been trading first impressions on a new gallery showing that Hannibal had dragged Will to and their conversation had remained light and comfortable over the meal at the doctor's house. So, really, what had brought on Will's latest fugue state?

He watched as Will's eyes focused briefly on their dinner plates and then flickered to Hannibal. The pale blue eyes, normally averted and so cautious in what they observed were now sharp and piercing. Will did not move, but Lecter could sense the small man mentally stepping backwards in time, reenacting his host's actions in his visions.

Ah; dear Will had figured it out. Delightful.

Lecter dabbed his mouth with the linen napkin and then leaned forward. "How did you see it, Will?" he asked. There was no need to ask what the profiler had seen.

Will's voice, when he finally responded, was soft but certain. "I kill for pleasure, and because it is simply my nature," he answered, his eyes again unfocused. "There are reasons for it, rules; it is not by chance or whim. I have always been this way, and always will be. Those I hunt deserve it, to my thinking. Nothing is random." Will blinked a little, and seemed to come a bit more back to the present. "The art," he said quietly. "Wound Man". He shuddered a little, but Lecter took no offense. Will, like any intelligent person, was allowed his own personal preferences. "I should have known earlier."

"I took great precautions that you would not realize prematurely, Will," Lecter assured him. Many of those precautions were too soon to reveal to the teacher. "I left only a few hints, to ease you into the knowledge. But you surpassed my expectations and saw the truth far sooner than I ever expected."

Will was breathing heavily, the smell of fear heavy in the dinning room. But not flight; Will was intelligent enough to know that flight was not an option for him now. He was healthier than he had been in some time, the headaches, insomnia and sleepwalking very nearly things of the past, but he still was no match for the Chesapeake Ripper.

It took a few minutes, but Lecter waited patiently while Will tried to get his breathing under control. "And now you will kill and eat me," Will finished, his voice calm, resigned.

Lecter frowned. "Absolutely not," he answered firmly. "You are correct in most things, Will, but on this, you are very wrong indeed." It was only the fact that Will did not understand that kept Lecter from being slightly offended at the notion. Will could of course not be blamed for what he did not understand.

Will actually managed the faintest hint of a smile, terror and the feeling that he had nothing to lose giving him some courage. "Just kill me then," he said. "I guess it is rude to eat colleagues, or those who have not done great offense."

"Wrong again," Lecter smiled, his thin lips genuinely turned in amusement and admiration for Will's strength. The teacher was terrified, but brave, and he would never show anything less than bravery and manners to Lecter. The Ripper appreciated that greatly.

"Then...what?" Will was confused, his brow frowned in concentration. Try as he might, he could no longer see anything. It was something that had never happened before, and Will was for a moment more curious than frightened.

Lecter tried to change the subject. "I don't suppose I can interest you in dessert?" The berries had been especially fresh and at their peak when Hannibal had purchased them that morning. He had a lovely trifle all ready to serve.

He really could not blame Will for the way the young man reacted. The teacher blanched, going even more pale than usual, and one look at his dinner plate and seeing Will swallow hard made Hannibal spring into action. He placed firm hands around the thin shoulders and in less than 10 seconds had Will in the guest powder room, Will vomiting all of the dinner that Hannibal had prepared. It was a bit of a pity, but again, Hannibal could not truly hold it against Will in any way. He held Will steady, supporting his head and shoulders.

When he was done empting everything in his cramped stomach, Will jerked away from the touch and Hannibal allowed it, watching Will curl up in the corner of the bathroom. He tried to offer Will a glass of water, and the profiler flinched away, somehow making himself even smaller.

"Just....do whatever....you're going to do. Now. Please," Will added, polite even in this circumstance. Hannibal's manners had rubbed off very well on the naturally polite man.

Hannibal sighed. "What I am going to do, Will, is get you a fresh bottle of spring water to clean your mouth. And a toothbrush." Will flinched a little again, perhaps his imagination going wild. But Lecter merely fetched the promised water and toothbrush, and left them on the sink counter. "When you are ready, come out, Will, and we shall talk. I promise that nothing bad is going to happen tonight. You will go home to your dogs, and all will be well. I merely ask for some of the your time before you leave."

The doctor paused, and then rested one hand on the teacher's shoulder. Will shivered, but did not move...there was really no place for him to run. "You will tell no one, Will, in any way, what you have learned. And when you are ready, you will come back to me."

With that odd statement, Hannibal left.

Lecter busied himself with cleaning up the dinning room and kitchen, making everything back to his tidy standards. He saved some of the fruit for breakfast, glad that it would not be wasted. He hated waste. It was not logical.

He passed the time wondering what Will was likely thinking. The powder room was completely internal, with no windows. The mirror was secure to the wall; the hand soap and lotion containers were fine porcelain, but too small and fragile to be practical as any sort of weapon. There was really nothing that could be used against himself or Will. It might take Will some time to accept that, but sooner or later, he would come out

It took less time than Hannibal would have expected (another validation that his Will was brilliant), until Will emerged from the powder room, pale and shaken, but obviously determined. Hannibal offered him a whiskey, which was refused. Hannibal also understood that Will preferred to stand, declining the offer to sit in the study.

"What are you going to do?" Will asked. Left unspoken was the addition "to me". Lector smiled indulgently.

"I already told you what will happen, Will. You are free to leave anytime you wish, but you will tell no one what you have learned. And when you are ready, you will return to me and we will take the next steps."

"Next steps?" Will's voice was almost shrill. "What steps can there be? You don't leave witnesses. There are no loose ends."

"You are not a loose end, my dear Will," Hannibal said, taking a sip of his own brandy. The aroma went very well with the fear still emanating from the teacher. "You have no need to try and understand everything tonight. It will come in time."

"Time?" Will was pacing, feeling free enough to wander about the room, although he seemed to understand the invisible boundaries Lecter had set. "You are giving me time?"

Hannibal sighed, knowing that all of Will's doubts and fears were of his own making. "Yes, Will, time. You deserve it."

The blue eyes were probing him carefully. "You are going to let me leave....alive," he said, his voice uncertain, unable to believe what he was seeing and saying.

"I am indeed."

"Why?" The tone was challenging.

Hannibal smiled slightly. "I have already told you that you will not tell anyone what you have learned. And when you are ready to listen and learn, you will come back to me."

Will took a step back, confusion and horror in his face. "How can you say that?" Will's imagination and empathy took a bound. "You will kill whoever I tell, won't you. Alana? Jack? My students?" He swallowed. "My dogs?"

Hannibal frowned, but again, he had to make allowances for keeping Will in the dark; it was only logical that Will's imagination would make wild leaps and assumptions. "I would never harm Alana unless she forced the issue; she is a friend. It would indeed be impolite. You will not tell Jack or your students. And as for your dogs," Hannibal sighed. "I promise that I will not harm them, Will. They have served you loyally, so as much as I find the hair and licking and drool distasteful, I cannot find fault with their devotion and service to you. I only demand that when they come here, they will be confined to the yard or garage." Hannibal seemed to consider for a moment, distaste obvious. "And perhaps certain parts of the house, but only on special occasions."

"When they come here?" Will looked truly confused now; confused and terrified, and Hannibal did not find it a good look on his Will.

"I think we have covered more than enough tonight, Will." Hannibal finished his brandy, appreciating the rich taste. "Go to your home, rest, and be with your dogs. When you are ready for more, you will return to me."

Will hesitated, clearly not knowing what to do. Then he carefully backed out of the room, his gaze never leaving Lector's until he slammed the door shut and raced out of the house. Lector just smiled as he heard the sounds of Will starting his car and then driving as fast as possible away from the block.

His Will would learn that he had no where to run.

TBC.......

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