A Beta came and opened the waiting room door. She was grinning ear to ear. “That was incredible; the best fight I’ve ever seen and I’ve worked here for almost ten years. He killed three other Alphas to get to you. Come on, he deserves to get to see you.” Will followed, because there was nothing else he could do. He was taken down a long corridor out into the arena itself. For a moment the sun hit him right in the eyes, but he raised his hand to shield himself against it. His jaw dropped.
Standing in the middle of the arena, covered in blood, surrounded by corpses, waited Will’s new Alpha.
Will had no idea who the Alpha was. He was male, with lovely dark skin, but his eyes held something that made Will uneasy. The Beta prodded him forward and he went to his new Alpha. “Hello Will,” he said in a rough voice, still wound up from battle. I am Tobias Budge, but you will call me Alpha. He put his hand on top of Will’s curls and pushed downwards. “Kneel.”
Will almost did kneel, knowing that he had no choice, but he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye that made him freeze. He turned his head and looked right at the stuff of his greatest nightmares. A strangled cry left his throat. Hannibal. “No,” Will breathed.
“Excuse me?” Tobias growled.
“No!” Will cried, and ripped himself away from Tobias. The crowd gasped and Tobias looked at the Beta in shock. “No, no, no, no, no,” Was all Will could say. Hannibal. He couldn’t be. Why was he even here? Will flung himself on the ground and pulled Hannibal’s head into his lap. It was too late already –Hannibal’s skull had been partially crushed, likely killing him instantly. Hannibal was older than most Alphas when they competed in the Fights. He should have known better. Why, now, of all times, would Hannibal decide to reenter the Fights?
Will didn’t even know he was sobbing hysterically, clutching the older man’s body tightly against his chest. They couldn’t see Hannibal like this! His hair wasn’t straight and there was blood all over him. He wasn’t even wearing a suit –his own form of body armor- since the Fights mandated what basically amounted to a pair of boxers. Will cried into Hannibal’s hair, carefully avoiding the broken parts of his skull as to not hurt him. Why was Hannibal even in the Fights? He didn’t have to die! He shouldn’t have even come!
When it hit Will, he felt his entire world shatter; a teacup dropped from a thirty story building. Hannibal had entered the Fights to save Will. He had wanted to save Will from being handed off to a complete stranger, and he had lost his life in the attempt. Will didn’t hear his screams of agony as they echoed across the arena. He didn’t hear Tobias Budge demand a “non-defective” Omega. Will’s mind was clear at that moment. He saw what he hadn’t been able to see before, with the hormone blockers ravaging his system. Hannibal had loved him. All this time, Hannibal had loved him.
The screams got resoundingly louder and the organizers of the fight were rushing about, trying to decide what to do about the hysterical Omega mourning his chosen Alpha. Alana Bloom was in the stands screaming “This is your fault! You caused this! If you had just left Will alone, none of this would have happened!” Jack Crawford held his Bella in stunned silence and Beverly Katz tried to pull Alana down from where she stood on her seat.
Will loved Hannibal too, he realized as he descended into crying once more. He loved Hannibal with all of his heart. No one else had ever understood or accepted him. No one else had even tried. “I love you. I love you I love you I love you,” He whimpered into Hannibal’s hair again and again. Hannibal had to hear him. He couldn’t be dead without knowing. He had to know that he had been loved. Will had loved him. He hadn’t been alone. He had been loved.
Three strong sets of arms began trying to pull Will away from Hannibal, but he resisted with everything he had. “No!” He screamed. “I have to stay with him! He needs me! I can’t go; he won’t know I love him if I go. You killed him. You killed him!” He fought as hard as he could, clinging to Hannibal’s body, but one devastated Omega was no match for three healthy Betas. One tried pulling Hannibal from Will’s arms, so he bit him. “Don’t touch him! Don’t you dare touch him! Leave us alone!” A needle stabbed Will in the hip and he felt his muscles begin to slacken. Still, he fought to hold on. He was drowning in a pool of Hannibal’s blood. He had to hold on. Hannibal had to know that he had been loved so, so much. The blood covered Will’s mouth and nose, and crept over his eyes. He couldn’t fight anymore. There was nothing to fight for anyway.
Will wasn’t allowed to go to Hannibal’s funeral. He was too heavily sedated, but he had to be because he kept trying to hurt himself and kill the guards. The only time he talked was when he spoke to the Ravenstag, which he now knew to be Hannibal. The stag was how Hannibal took care of him now, letting Will know that he wasn’t alone, that he was safe. The stag never left anymore, because Hannibal had to be with him at all times. Otherwise Will couldn’t think. Otherwise Will couldn’t breathe.
Alana came to visit. She couldn’t seem to look Will in the eye, but at least she came. That was more than could be said for Jack. Alana and Beverly actually brought Bella once, surprisingly, and Will liked seeing the other Omega. She was such a strong woman. Will knew why she didn’t tell Jack that she was sick. It wouldn’t help, so why bother? She was also the only one who didn’t give Will that horrible, pitying look when he said that Hannibal was still taking care of them. Bella understood the stag. She knew that he wasn’t alone anymore.
Eventually they were able to take Will off of the sedatives and untie him. He could be left alone in a room, as long as there weren’t any sharp objects and the windows were locked. He wasn’t alone anyway, with Hannibal’s stag there, so it didn’t matter. His mind never seemed to fully clear –it was like people were always speaking gibberish. He didn’t want to listen to them anyway. He only spoke to Hannibal, unless Alana, Beverly, or Bella came to visit. When Bella finally died, Will was allowed to attend her funeral. Alana and Beverly quietly took him to Hannibal’s gravesite as well, across town.
Will laid down over Hannibal’s grave and cried for a good long while. The stag hovered over him protectively. He could feel its warm, sweet breath on the back of his neck. He cried himself into catharsis and felt better than he had in a while. When Alana indicated that they had to head back to the facility, he pressed a kiss to Hannibal’s headstone. “I’ll come back soon, my love,” He whispered. He hesitated for only a moment longer, then followed the stag back to the car.
Unfortunately, his improvement brought something worse than insanity: Hannibal’s murderer. Tobias budge came to the facility to claim his Omega, as was his right. He had to force Alana back away from the door, and threaten to have Jack arrested for interfering between an Alpha and his Omega. Jack had shown up that day for the first time, and he wanted to stand as a barrier between Will and the other Alpha, but the law was against him.
Tobias went into Will’s room. “Get up. We’re leaving,” He snapped.
“I can’t leave,” Will replied. “I can never leave.”
“We’re leaving now!” Tobias grabbed Will’s arm and began dragging him out of the room. Will fought, he screamed, but Tobias was bigger and stronger. For a moment everything was as it seemed, the Alpha pulling Will out by his arm, before Will’s vision shifted and he saw the truth. Tobias’ and wasn’t on Will’s arm, it was around the Stag’s neck. He was trying to wrestle Hannibal’s stag away from Will. He was going to pin it to the ground and kill it, just like he had killed Hannibal. Will screamed and began to attack the Alpha. He had to protect Hannibal’s stag. He couldn’t let this happen again!
Arms restrained him and he was forced back, away from Tobias and the stag. He was screaming, just like he had in the Arena, and begging for them to save the stag. Alana, Jack, anyone. It didn’t matter. If Tobias would let Hannibal’s stag go, Will would go with him willingly. He would be good, just please don’t hurt it! Don’t hurt Hannibal! Will would be good! But Tobias had a knife, and sank it into the stag’s chest. Will screamed.
“Will, Will wake up. Wake up my love,” Hannibal shook Will awake and pulled the screaming man close. “It’s alright my love, you’re safe.” Will relaxed back into Hannibal’s arms. It had all been a terrible dream. “It was just a nightmare, my love,” Hannibal was kissing his neck lightly, soothing over the scar left by their mate-bite. “You’re safe. I told you, my love, anywhere I am is a safe place for you.”