A/N: Hello, people!
I don't own Hannibal.
I have no beta.
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Will Graham was born in a small, ramshackle, backwater town in the parish of Lafourche Louisiana. There were dirt roads and trees in nearly every direction save for one, which held only water. And on the water rested an uninhabitable archipelago, with each bit of land only big enough to hold maybe a person or two on each, and a few trees here and there.
Moss was a frequent thing to see no matter where you turned. It grew everywhere, leaving everything green, fuzzy, and smelling faintly of mildew as the air was muggy all the time and rarely dry. There was a swamp closer inland that got a bit more brown than anything else, but for the most part it was green. Nature was in complete control and didn't seem to be willing to relinquish its hold any time soon.
Electricity was not a thing, he recalled. The reason nature was so prevalent was because the area had yet to be urbanized. There were no televisions with which to watch Saturday morning cartoons. Radios could not pick up a signal for miles out so all music came from banjos and guitars that were older than sin. Everyone in the small town was within shouting distance so they didn't need telephones or letters. And no one ever left because everyone was family somehow and why would anyone want to leave their family for a world that none of them comprehended?
He'd spent his childhood being tsked at with shaking heads and pursed lips. The neighbors would turn to each other as he walked by, and they'd whisper things they knew very well that he could hear yet not understand. Their stares were disapproving and their sneers even more so. He didn't understand the significance for a few years but it all came crashing down on him one day.
Will was a bastard. His father - his blood father to be more precise - had been a complete stranger in the town one day many years back. Will's mother had offered him what limited space she had when it became apparent that he was injured and alone. She'd been the only person to offer him help. No one could recall exactly where he turned up, only that he literally turned up in the water and that was it.
The man stayed for two years, helped out as much as he could, and then up a left suddenly. The neighbors couldn't decide if they hated more the fact that Will's mother laid with a complete stranger who was not one of them, or that she didn't marry the stranger before laying with him. It was all a very backwards way of thinking, though Will wasn't shocked as he looked back on it.
After all, he wasn't exaggerating when he said they were all family. The honorary town leader was his distant cousin, and said man's wife was his own cousin. Will's mother's parents were also cousins. Everyone was related in some way and new blood did not make its way into the town ever until Will's father came along. He didn't know how long the town had been standing, but it had certainly been a while for such a small number of people to 'marry' each other. They knew of the practice but had no such things as certificates on hand.
His mother had nothing but good things to say about his father whenever Will cared enough to ask. He remembered how wistful she got when he came up in conversation, and how her dark eyes would become misty in a way at the memories. How she regaled him with grand tales of the man's exploits across the globe. How he encouraged her to seek out a life of her own somewhere else. How she could be something more some day if she tried. He had told her that she didn't need to remain confined to the little town on the water.
Strangely enough, unlike foreigners, he'd never questioned the fact that incest was a thing in their town. 'Outsiders didn't understand them' or so Will and the other children had been taught while growing up. Outsiders didn't approve of laying with your kin for whatever reason. Will's blood father hadn't questioned that knowledge in the least, which was strange in and of itself. He didn't judge them and their practices and had been nonchalant over the matter according to Will's mother.
Once he had asked why the man didn't stay with them. He'd been five and had heard another old person tsking about his a father. Will's mind was a lot further along than the other nine children in the town. He processed things a lot faster even if he struggled with things like reading. It wasn't his fault that the letters seemed all turned around, and his mother hadn't blamed him either, because there was nothing wrong with him just because of that.
Thanks to the odd ability to see the world for what it was, starting very young, Will always had questions and observations. He learned very quickly that most people did not like hearing what he had to say because he always ended up being too forthright for their comfort. One wasn't supposed to spill another's secrets within polite society, though could what little their town had, be considered a society at all? There were less than one hundred people and family lines were pretty much just for show since everyone was related. Was that really a society?
When he'd asked why his father didn't stay with his mother when she became pregnant, Will's mother had answered by telling him to try something before doing or learning anything else.
She told him to take a dip in the lake and hold his breath for as long as possible. And when he'd counted for a long as he could, he would then come to her, and she was explain everything she had been told. She'd been very serious about it too.
The children weren't allowed in the water yet. They were considered too young and the water was considered too dangerous, but Will's mom had told him what to do. She believed he would be fine in the water. She wouldn't tell him to go if she didn't.
So he went.
Will had divested himself of his ragged, poorly crafted clothes and submerged himself without hesitation. His breath was held tight as he waited for that odd feeling of tightness in the chest as he struggled for air. He'd heard of it from the elders.
It didn't come. In fact, Will ended up opening his eyes underwater and instead of a stinging pain like he'd been told would accompany the action, he could see clearly. The water wasn't the cleanest and he could see the plants beneath his feet through the murkiness. And yet through all of his observations, his breath had yet to run out.
He'd felt fine. He felt content. The water swished around him, swaying him from side to side and making him calm and relaxed. His body had loosened up and his eyelids drifted closed in the warmth. He felt tempted to yawn.
Will awoke hours later, to pure darkness. He'd been inside the lake for so long, the sky had gone dark and he couldn't see anything beneath the later. But the most amazing thing, was that he'd literally been sleeping in the water. His breath hadn't been held in however long and he didn't feel like he was choking on what surrounded him. In fact, he didn't even feel the need to panic despite knowing that it wasn't normal for people to fall asleep underwater as if they could still breathe. Humans weren't fish after all.
He'd returned home, sopping wet, covered in still living critters, and burning with questions his five year old mind couldn't order correctly. And his mother told him simply, 'it's in your blood from your father'. She called him 'Sei' and said that he'd been 'a god from the sea'. She told him that his father had been special and because of him, Will too was special and would never be like others, because he was so much more than them.
That was the first and last time she called Will a 'demigod'.
He went over ten years before learning what it meant and in that time frame, he forgot about it completely.
Not long after the revelation of his odd abilities involving water, Will's mother disappeared. As if nothing of her ever remained. They had searched the woods and the waters, and yet no body was to be found, and not even a note to tell them where she'd gone. She just disappeared from existence one day and the locals spread word of devils and magic and punishment for her immoral actions.
It was interesting how people would gladly hold one person accountable for a sin, while completely ignoring their own guilt to the same sin or a sin of similar circumstances. Hypocrisy was an unattractive trait, Will learned early on. His dislike of people started that day.
With his mother missing, her brother Bill took Will on as his charge. And Bill decided quite randomly that he wanted something better for Will than whatever their little town on the water had to offer. That he would be able to give him a better life than anything in Lefourche could ever give him. Will had doubts at the time, but he went along with it because he hated their town.
And so they left and never returned. Will had not been sorry to see the last of those people, even if he missed the hut of his mother. It was where he grew up. Where he learned lullabies and stories. Where he would be wrapped up in blankets and rocked back and forth until he fell asleep.
Bill became the father Will never truly had. The one to be there for everything even if he didn't understand exactly what was happening to the boy he took in. He tried his best though, teaching Will every important skill he'd ever learned, and he tried his best to instill in Will a need to survive and fight.
Will learned how to fish. How to craft his own lures. How to prepare the meat with as little on hand as possible. And it was his strange connection to water that always ensured they had the best catch for dinner. That they always had something on hand, because any creature that inhabited water, was friendly with Will and was drawn to him for some unknown reason. Most fled from obstacles that moved in the water with them, but not when it came to Will.
Things were not perfect. Sometimes they lived out of Bill's stolen truck that they'd come upon far away from the town, and they used a stolen shopping cart to grill their nightly catch on. Bill learned the ins and outs of a motor and did quick jobs here at there to earn a few extra dollars. Money was actually a thing outside their old town, they had learned quickly. Bill made sure to teach Will what he knew as well just in case it was necessary one day.
In the meantime, he had other jobs he did which helped Will learn other skills necessary for survival. Will learned how to cut a tree down as well as how to whittle objects from the remains his father didn't carve up himself.
His first creation was a poorly crafted flute. It worked well enough, but was amateurish in design. He'd been so proud of it, and his father had been doubly proud of it, and refused to part with it no matter what.
That ended up being his obsession for the first two years on the road. Bill would chop down trees and whatever he didn't use in crafting, would be given to Will to do with whatever he pleased. And Will would perfect his own craft, creating elaborately carved flutes that played sharp notes and felt smooth against the skin. The designs thereon would tell a story in his mind and come across as some beautiful piece of art to those watching.
They peddled the flutes for money or food in smaller towns they passed. Ones without their own personal law enforcement just to be safe. Bill called it 'a trade of interests'.
Will's life was decent for years to come. Indeed there were times where it could have been better, but it also could have been worse. He always had food and clothes, and a warm place to sleep. By all accounts, he had a good childhood since he couldn't recall a time where he was unhappy with Bill.
It all unfortunately went downhill when he turned the dreaded thirteen. All because Will wanted to go to a library and ended up having to ask a woman how to read the signs. And at his age, he should have been capable of that just fine, which made her concerned, and she put her nose into his business the moment she directed him to the children's section of picture books.
Suddenly the cops were involved.
Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you parents? Why do you not have a birth certificate? Why are you not on the state's records?
It was hard to explain that a small town on the outskirts of Louisiana, didn't have things like schools, hospitals, or electricity. Will had come to learn that Americans were gullible and believed anything the government told them. And there was an insistence that America was the leading country in the world and that poverty was not a thing there. That everyone had access to the exact same rights and resources, and that was simply not the case since his hometown had nothing such as birth certificates let alone paper or ink to use to type them out on.
It was an intense few years where Will and Bill were separated. They needed papers and all that shit. Bill couldn't provide for a child according to the law. Will had to be set up with a family that could provide for him until Bill managed to fit the law's requirements, or Will was old enough to live on his own and willingly chose to go with Bill again.
Will was left to the system once he'd been given a thorough check over and got a shiny new collection of records to tell people who he was.
William Theseus Graham.
Born in Lefourche Louisiana.
Blood Type O Negative.
Age 13, born February 14, 1969.
He was illiterate, though not willingly. Will could not read because they learned that he suffered from Dyslexia. And he'd never had a reason to write before then, so of course he didn't know that either. Sure he'd heard his mother sing the alphabet to him, but beyond that he was at a loss when it came to reading and writing. Everything he knew came from watching other people and mimicking them. Will was very talented at pretending to be good at things when he was actually a novice.
The doctors also tried to claim that he had something called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. For years he'd accepted it without question since he didn't know enough about it to refute their claims. As he got older he chose to disagree because Will could focus very well in his humble opinion so long as the subject at hand was interesting. Most things simply weren't worth the effort most of the time. He also had a lot of energy, but he was a child so of course he had energy! All children literally had energy unless they were terminally ill.
The discovery of his blood relations being far too close in relation to each other was a cause for concern if he recalled correctly. Bill ended up having to give up the location of their little town because 'a whole group of inbred idiots was too dangerous to leave unchecked' or so the one police officer had said. Will didn't understand the severity of that until he was much older. The news stated that an entire community of people had been found living in squalor on the outskirts of Louisiana. That most were insane and incapable of receiving help and were ill beyond reason.
He hadn't felt bad for the town in the least.
Will found himself in foster care for some time after that, being shipped between homes because no one wanted to deal with 'his retardedness'. No one actually bothered to talk to him to decide if he truly fit the mould of a 'retard' they just saw the words on his files and decided to treat him terribly because of it. And it pissed him off because even if someone was 'retarded' as they so callously claimed, they still deserved common fucking decency. One thing he learned was that humanity was relatively the same no matter where it took root. Be it some ramshackle town or the big city. Humans were no different from each other and he disliked the lot of them.
He was generally disliked by everyone in that small time frame during his teens. And Will also might have built up a habit of spilling the secrets people so desperately wanted to keep hidden, whenever they decided to annoy him. Often Will would be nursing a bruised jaw in response. Back then child abuse wasn't really considered a thing since your neighbors could beat your ass if they felt like it and your parents wouldn't question them if they did. The 70s and 80s were one hell of a time to be a child.
He didn't care if people liked him or not. People should watch how they spoke around him if they didn't want their dirty little secrets spread around. Will had no emotional attachment to anyone but Bill. Why should he care for the feelings of complete strangers who literally did nothing for him? Especially if he in return was also feeling what they felt and was suffering for it double time.
He was seventeen when Bill finally managed to obtain custody of him through legal channels. Both were considered legal citizens of the United States by then and Bill had a stable job and was living in a trailer park near New Orleans. Not the best of places, but for two people, the trailer itself was rather large inside, and Will got his own room with a bed and all the fixings.
In their hometown, his mother's home(it was practically a hut actually) had been one room and they slept on the floor on pelts and blankets. Here might have seemed like the scourge of society to many far more well off than them, but for Will, it was much better, especially after years of getting acquainted with newer technology and how electricity worked. The rural boy had been slowly weaned out of him by then and was more attracted to the convenience of electronics and the branching out of technology than the rustic simplicity he'd grown up surrounded by.
Things continued on like they had before the great upset to their lives. Will whittled and whittled, and Bill sold his wares whenever he could. Will fished for them because his father worked so hard every day he didn't have time. Bill fixed motors of all sorts and created furniture for people. It was an easier life having a stable place to stay.
And Will's schooling continued on as it was, with extra attention being paid to him to help him fight against the setbacks of his Dyslexia. It took a lot of effort to put him on equal footing with his classmates, at least in theory. Will was still smarter than all of them naturally, and his mind made leaps and bounds past theirs daily. The reading merely held him back somewhat.
Life in the late 80s was pretty good for Will Graham. A small hiccup and then nothing but smooth sailing.
Bill Graham died from prostate cancer in 1995. They'd been too poor to get him any kind of help - not that science had managed to create useful methods to help such an ailment to begin with - but the man had simply smiled, called him his son, and told him how proud he was of Will. He opted for a quick way out to save them all from any extra work when handling his case.
Will Graham had the body of the man he considered to be his father, cremated, and then went and spread his ashes in the Red River, because that was what he had personally felt was best. The water had always felt like a home for Will and he could only hope that maybe the soothing waters would be home for Bill too.
He would swear up and down for years, that the river had actually turned red for a split second, but when he'd blinked, it looked normal. He never understood what it meant, but it stayed with him.
Will made a decent life for himself. He persevered through the limitations of his Dyslexia and overcame the hindrances from it. If any of the people who had insulted him for that setback could see him, they'd regret their words immediately. Will Graham, he who came from the pits of nowhere and had nothing to his name, was the best student in every class he ever took.
And he also learned some time during university, which he'd gotten a scholarship to by the way, that his brain recognized Ancient Greek easily. The old language of the gods supposedly. And that brought him back to something that had happened so many years ago. Something he'd practically forgotten until then, because it wasn't important in the eyes of a five year old.
Demigod. His mother had called him a demigod once upon a time. She told him his father's side made him more special than others. That his father Sei had been a 'god from the sea'. Sei had been found injured in the waters near the town.
The claim of demigodhood. Understanding Ancient Greek easily. The ability to breathe underwater and befriend any creature that inhabited water. The name Sei and the fact that he was supposedly a god who came from the sea, set it all pretty clearly for Will. His father was… somehow… Poseidon. The god of the Sea, Storms, and Horses according to mythology.
Meaning the Greek pantheon was real and possibly all of the stories about the Greeks in mythology, were also real to some extent as well.
He remembered the exact moment he came to that conclusion while staring out at the Red River, and how the water on the banks before him, practically parted ways and revealed a bounty of fish for him to collect. And how inside the mouth of each fish, was a silver coin of some sort that he'd never laid eyes upon before. A thorough study later on revealed them to be ancient drachmae. Any historian would love to have gotten their hands on such a treasure. Will selfishly hoarded them for himself as proof of his blood father's existence and support.
It explained why his blood father could not be around during his childhood and strangely, Will didn't mind that. Instead he gave thanks, and collected the fish for dinner for the next month where they would be preserved after a quick fillet.
Another thing that finally made sense, was why his mother had named him William Theseus Graham. After Theseus who was supposedly a son of Poseidon according to mythology.
It all had finally come together. The revelation was less surprising than he was certain it should be. Or maybe Will was just more used to others things that stressed him constantly that the relative banality that came with being a demigod didn't affect him much.
Will was not adventurous with his abilities. It had taken him thirty years of life to learn that he could do far more than simply breathe underwater and befriend fish and the like. He was a bit disappointed that it had taken him so long actually.
It had been the situation that taught him this, that made him pull out of the police force. He'd gotten shot and had fallen off a pier while in pursuit of a killer. Now, as Will knew he could breathe just fine, he hadn't been worried per se, but he couldn't move his shoulder from the sudden pain and swimming became impossible as he sunk below the waves and found himself hunched over on the seafloor.
It was the sudden need to just part the water so he could simply walk out on his own, that alerted him to the fact that he had indeed, just parted the water around him and was literally walking toward the shore without a problem. And somewhere in the back of his mind was a whispered voice tinted with an odd accent, saying, 'Go to the water and the water shall always guide you'.
It wasn't too long later that Will learned that dipping his injured anything into a body of water that wasn't man made, would automatically heal him up. It was lucky for him that he was no longer in a profession where he was bound to receive deadly injury on a possible daily basis. It would make it incredibly difficult to explain how his wounds randomly disappeared. That was why Poseidon didn't immediately heal the bullet wound. He was looking out for Will's future. After all, the water healed injuries, it didn't repair holes in his uniform that came from being shot at. How would that be explained?
Will had set his sights on something far more pleasant and less harrowing for his mental well being after he left the force. Something that required him to speak with people less. It was so much better!
A teaching position within the FBI. After all, he was speaking to his students, not with them. A big distinction that he preferred. It meant that they listened to him and that was it.
Will no longer caught killers or put his life on the line to do so. He taught others how to catch killers. And he did not think about how he was encouraging them to put their lives on the line for their intended jobs. No, not one bit.
He assured himself that he wasn't that emotionally attached.
Will was forty-four when he met Hannibal Lecter for the very first time. And somewhere in the back of his mind he could feel something stirring with interest. The man was not the normal mortal being, and certainly seemed to hold himself above others even if he would never say such a thing aloud. He didn't seem to be the type to praise himself even in the most unpleasant company.
Hannibal was other although Will was certain that he was neither god nor demigod. But he was still very much different from anyone that Will had ever met before. Like a predator lying in wait and watching the world around him with a level of amusement unattainable by anyone else.
He also ended up being very fond of metaphors and drawing comparisons to Greek mythology that actually held a manner of truth in every other word. It was ironic in a sense and Will had to wonder what Hannibal Lecter would do if he knew that the people he spoke of actually existed at some point in the past?
Hannibal watched Will with familiar eyes. Eyes of interest. Of desire, though not in the sexual way. Hannibal seemed fascinated by what Will represented. In their particular circles, Will's mind was a rarity. No one knew it was his divine parentage that made him so… otherworldly in a sense, and he didn't feel like sharing that piece of information any time soon. But still. It made Will a hot commodity in the psychiatric community and everyone wanted to study him.
But there was something different in Hannibal's gaze. While he too wanted to study Will it didn't seem to be with the intent to fix him. To make him well again. A lot of people thought Will was mad and while they might not be too far off the mark, they were still wrong. And their interest had misplaced morals attached to it. Everyone always seemed to think that they would be the ones to 'cure' him. But not Hannibal.
For some reason, Hannibal seemed to like Will as he was, and loved bantering with him at any given opportunity. Their little verbal spars were always interesting, even if Will always ended up feeling exposed in some way because Hannibal could see him more clearly than anyone else ever could or would.
Will found himself longing for Hannibal's companionship, which was something completely new seeing as Will wasn't fond of people in general and wanted nothing to do with them for most of the time. But there was just something special about Hannibal Lecter that made Will feel things he'd never experienced before.
Hannibal was unique among mortals, and it wasn't just his maroon eyes that no human should ever be capable of having. It was his mind first and foremost. And it was appealing to say the least.
But he also had his aesthetic points. He was only slightly taller than Will. His blond hair was filled with silvery highlights, and dark brown lowlights. His cheekbones were sharp and beautiful. The slope of his nose wasn't common in facial features, and while he had a defined brow bone, he had no eyebrows of his own.
Add on the odd proclivity for fancy, three piece suits that were made of color schemes and patterns that should never make sense yet he managed to make look stunning anyway, and Will was at a loss on what to do.
Add on a possible child to the mix and he was conflicted.
What to do when your friend is attacked by a serial killer?
What to do when you feel like you're the reason it happened despite his protests?
Secretly, Will wished that Tobias Budge was alive again so Will could kill him himself.
He confessed his desires to the body of water near his home in Wolf Trap and felt nothing but pure understanding through the bond with Poseidon.
His father assured him that it was a normal reaction.
That didn't make him feel better.
In a way, those first few months after meeting Hannibal were simply filled with everything. Too much to grasp at the time. His health had deteriorated. He was still half mortal unfortunately and he was susceptible to mortal ailments. He hadn't known what was wrong, and his empowered abilities gifted to him by his divine parent, had been all over the place. He'd been an absolute wreck to put it bluntly.
And Will was for once, wading in an ocean he felt no comfort in. Where he was scared to open his eyes. Where he was terrified of possibly going under and drowning in the unknown. And it felt like nothing, not even the paddle Hannibal had cleverly fashioned himself as, could get him out of it.
He'd never felt so disconnected from his blood father until then. Poseidon was always there in the back of his mind. Always a silent strength by his side even if he wasn't allowed to be there physically because his brother was an asshole. Yes, Will called Zeus an asshole. He didn't regret it one bit because the god was the biggest hypocrite of Olympus, but that was a story for another time of course.
Betrayal was a strange thing, Will decided. He'd never experienced it personally before now, so it had been shocking when he understood what it was he'd been feeling. Betrayal was... it implied that you had expectations of a sort in the first place. Will had gone his entire life trying to have the lowest of expectations of anyone so he didn't get hurt in any way if he could prevent it. But Hannibal had sunk his well-sharpened claws deep into Will's walled up heart and mind and practically buried himself in Will's marrow as he feasted upon Will's growing terrors and growing dependence upon him.
And Will had entertained an idea or two, which he'd selfishly and foolishly begun to hope for. Because while he was certainly a looker on the outside - his blue/green eyes courtesy of his father's dominant, godly genes were 'to die for' - not many wanted to delve deep enough to see everything inside. Hannibal had liked him. He had seemed like he would willingly take a swan dive into the very depths of Will if only Will would open up enough to allow him the opportunity.
So the man you'd come to admire had been manipulating you for months, to the extent of knowing you were ill and not saying anything about it. What was the proper response to something like that? Will wasn't even all that pissed that Hannibal was a serial killer who had been eluding the FBI for years. He was more hurt by the… betrayal. Because he'd trusted Hannibal to be his light in the darkness that terrified him, and the man had let him down. Which in all honesty, he probably deserved for daring to form a connection with another person in the first place.
Will was Boo Boo the Fool in the end.
Anger. A deep desire for revenge. But also a desire to make it personal. Those were the centerpoint of what Will ended up feeling as his days in prison passed. His mind imagined and reimagined elaborate scenes where he took his anger out on Hannibal in any way he could think. They ranged from artful murder tableaus to quick and impersonal stabbings with dull knives.
Will knew that if he so wished it of his blood father, Poseidon, would no doubt find a way to give him what he wanted without Will having to lift a finger. But it wasn't as simple as revenge. There was more to it than just getting back at someone for being mean or whatever.
Will wanted Hannibal to suffer in return, but only because of Will. He didn't know if he wanted the man dead. That was too difficult to delve into yet. Will desired Hannibal in ways he probably shouldn't, and he had to wonder what his father thought of the entire affair going on between his son and the man who just might be his only mortal equal. It had to look like one big soap opera from wherever he was watching as the drama and layers continued to unfold around them.
It was so strange wanting to kill someone but also wanting them to be alive and well at your side only. It was a possessive obsession that Will had never experienced before. Conflicting in the extreme. Especially after taking away the one thing Will had wanted. Family.
He liked it.
Will was never the paragon of normalcy however.
It was a courtship. A dark and dangerous courtship. Will could think of no other way to describe it. He was the fisherman, casting out his pretty bait and waiting. He knew what Hannibal wanted now. He knew what the other man desired of Will.
He didn't want to fix Will and make him normal, he wanted Will to embrace the darker side of his nature. To accept himself and what he truly was destined to do according to Hannibal. In Hannibal's mind, what he'd done had been for Will's well being. He simply fell into the hole of thinking only his way was the only way to go about getting what he wanted.
It was strange to Will. Hannibal had been playing with him up until a certain point. But then suddenly he caught feelings? How was that even possible? If Will was a romantic at heart, he would say divine intervention, but what sort of divine intervention was aware of them and their relationship enough to give a damn about what was going on and then attempt to influence it? It just made no sense for Hannibal to switch gears all of a sudden!
He started to care and then he panicked - Hannibal's version of panicking, Will supposed - and then changed everything around and had him caged for a time so he'd know where Will was whenever Hannibal wanted to see him.
And then he got Will freed just as quickly as he got him imprisoned. Hannibal was good, Will had to give him that. He knew how to get what he wanted and whenever he wanted it. That took talent in manipulation and a deep understand of human nature to pull off.
And now that he knew what he knew, and he knew that Hannibal wanted in Will the equal he'd seen from the very beginning, Will knew how to play the part.
He was attractive aesthetically, and while Hannibal had never given any indication that he wanted Will sexually, the man also appreciated beauty in all forms. And if his favorite person just so happened to look beautiful on the outside as well as the inside, then what was wrong with that? If was Will was being gift-wrapped just for Hannibal's pleasure alone.
Of course there was the dangerous side to this game of cat and mouse. Will knew what Hannibal wanted and unfortunately, a small part of him wanted it as well. He couldn't tell if he was simply feeling what Hannibal was feeling and mirroring him, or if it was all natural and stemming from Will's vast inner ocean of loneliness and desire for companionship. And that, Will knew, was what terrified him the most out of the situation.
They'd become conjoined. It wasn't just Will and just Hannibal any longer. It was them and then the world. There was no other way it could be.
"Dad, I got myself into one hell of a mess," Will confessed to the water. "I have no idea how it came to this and I'm not sure what I should do right now."
Will caught feelings for the bad guy. It wasn't just Hannibal's wants clamoring for attention in his mind. Will's had joined them and they were pretty much the same. Like they were amplifying each other and goading each other on.
Obsession and Love walked a fine line and looked very similar on the surface. The difference being Obsession was about the self and how to please the self, whereas Love was about the other and how to please them. Obsession was Your happiness, Love was Their happiness. Your wants mattered most in Obsession, Their wants mattered most in Love.
Will could honestly not tell which Hannibal felt and which he felt. And that was a problem.
"This would make for a great Greek Tragedy," Will murmured to the still water not too far behind his home in Wolf Trap. He could imagine it being acted out in years to come, with over-dramatized actions that would probably be right on the money considering the relationship between he and Hannibal and who they were as individuals.
Ripples appeared on the water despite its former stillness and the lack of anything breaking the surface. He could feel Poseidon's amusement at the back of his mind, and huffed. "Laugh it up all you want, dad. At least one of us is having a good time."
'It will all work out in the end, William.'
Dear gods did he hope so. This indecisiveness was killing him.
"All I need is a stream."
It wasn't an exaggeration if truth be told. All Will would need in life to be content, was a stream. The flow of the water soothing his worries. The feeling of the connection between him and his divine parent. That Life within the water. So long as it was natural, he'd have control of it and have a connection to Poseidon.
A stream would be lovely even in his darkest moments.
He could have really used one the next night as he lay broken and bleeding on Hannibal's kitchen floor, staring up at the fluorescent lights and wishing beyond all reason that things had gone differently. That maybe he hadn't sat on the fence of his feelings for too long. That maybe he'd made a better choice earlier, whichever that would have been. Either stay Jack's man and bring Hannibal down, or be Hannibal's man and jointly take Jack down.
A stream would have made it all better. Unfortunately, none was in sight, and Will had to rely on human medicine to fix him up. Which left him at 50/50 basically. He was close enough to death to feel the darkness of his vision and he could hear a strange amount of pitchy screaming buzzing low in his ears, but he was clinging on to life enough to feel the pain in his abdomen and his heart that felt like it had been shattered.
Just like their teacup that had actually come back together on its own.
And he knew he'd live. He was a demigod. He had endurance other mortals did not. Will would live and would take the memento Hannibal gave him, with him forever. A permanent smile upon his aching flesh. Abigail, their daughter in all but blood, was not so lucky.
But that was Hannibal's design.
Will couldn't decide if he hated the man for his actions, or sympathized with him in the end.
In a way he was touched because he knew his own actions had fucked everything up and that Hannibal had attempted to make amends by keeping Abigail alive for Will. And Will's position as the World's Best Fence-Sitter ruined everything.
Though he was pissed that Hannibal had kept her continued existence a secret for so long and even watched as Will cried in his spacious office over it. Will hated crying in front of people and that was simply not done.
Will was dramatic. He liked to think he got it from his divine parentage because the gods and goddesses went down in mythology as the most dramatic fuckers ever. The spite, greed, and pettiness steeped in their culture and histories was more human than any actual human culture alive was.
Poseidon was to blame for Will always taking the dramatic route in life. This was something he'd decided ages ago.
He sailed a boat to Europe instead of choosing a plane that would have taken less time. Will regretted nothing. The gods had to be laughing their asses off at him.
Besides, he felt more at home on the water, and if he subtly manipulated said water to take him along much faster, then that was simply his own business. It was lucky for him that he also held some power over the weather as well. Keeping it stormy was beneficial in the long run. He chose to ignore the buzzing of amusement at the back of his mind.
Being a demigod was in both parts great and terrible, he realized. Your parent was always there even if not physically. How stressful.
Poseidon got front row seats to watching one of his children literally sail across the ocean for the man he loved. A man who had caused him endless amounts of suffering and should by no means be what Will wanted the most in life. With everything that had transpired between them, Will should not still love Hannibal Lecter.
As Will once said, it was a Greek Tragedy.
"I forgive you."
Of fucking course he did because Hannibal was so difficult to stay angry with when he looked so downtrodden! Will had actually developed feelings for someone and actually cared about their feelings in return.
Character growth of the unwanted sort.
Will held himself under the water in the tub that evening and he didn't come up for three hours. His mind was too busy screaming at him the various pros and cons to reconnecting with Hannibal again.
Everything was equally beautiful and terrifying.
How do you woo someone you were certain already loved you? This was the question on Will's mind a lot recently. And when in the grand scheme of things did this become a literal quest to woo Hannibal Lecter?
He understood Hannibal better than he ever had before. He wasn't certain if that was a good thing or not. Especially after the steps taken to come to that level of understanding.
There was so much to wade through in terms of Hannibal's messy past. But that past and the amalgamation of events therein were what made Hannibal the man he was today.
For a normal mortal to have a story this detailed and dramatic, was impressive. Will wondered slightly if perhaps Hannibal had the favor of a divine being. How could a regular human be so enchanting and mysterious all at once?
Hannibal monopolized his every thought. Waking or otherwise.
The pretentious asshole probably knew it too.
He tried to be happy. He moved away from Hannibal's sphere of influence. He played the game and won, and Hannibal had given himself up to the law, letting Will know exactly where he was waiting for him. And Will had decided to remove himself from the equation.
There could be no decisive victory between them. It simply wasn't possible. So Will took the final steps necessary to get Hannibal to stop running, and then Will left so Hannibal couldn't possibly influence him any longer.
It was supposed to be simple.
Even when Will started dating a sane woman with a sweet smile and a stern resolve, his mind strayed to thoughts of Hannibal. His memory palace was filled with Hannibal's influence even when his real life surroundings weren't. He couldn't love Molly as he wanted because his mind kept whispering that she wasn't anything like Hannibal, and Hannibal was what he'd come to crave.
He could even feel the upset in the water.
Their property bordered a lake. Will could never live far from a water source. There was nothing in him that would ever agree to such a thing. He'd feel ill if he even tried.
And yet the water felt more silent than ever before. As if his dad wasn't happy with his decision.
"He's a murderer," Will told the water one day, attempting to justify his actions. "Normal people shouldn't want to be with murderers."
His rationalization fell flat because Will's blood father was a damn god and gods were not mortals, meaning they didn't fall under the same jurisdictions or morals. He knew this because incest was rampant among the Greek pantheon, Zeus was practically the king of rape via bestiality, Athena had the petty habit of cursing any woman who so much as looked attractive in her eyes because she didn't want competition, and Ares kept trying to start wars left and right over stupid shit. They obviously didn't care about whatever standards mortals held them to.
Still, just because something was commonly done, didn't make it right.
Will did not like the fact that he obsessed over someone who by all intents and purposes, wasn't healthy for him. Someone who had caused him so much pain in life. And he was scared by the fact that the dark places Hannibal lead him to, were beautiful. Appealing. That they catered to his nature so well.
"I am not the only one to blame for this situation," Will maintained sternly. "We all made our beds and we will lie in them."
The water was silent.
Will hated it.
He just couldn't stay away, could he? Hannibal even warned him. Literally warned him to stay the fuck away!
But he didn't go back for Jack or the FBI or this new killer or some misplaced hope to do good for the world. He didn't care about any of that. He went back to see Hannibal because he was practically starving and knew he'd find nourishment at the very sight of the doctor's endless maroon eyes and sharp cheekbones that could no doubt cut diamonds. Even in incarceration, Hannibal looked perfect. It wasn't fair.
He felt dishonest toward his wife. His feelings for Hannibal weren't simple or subtle. He felt like he was cheating in a way. He often wondered if he should perhaps divorce her because there was no way that he could truly care for Molly the way she deserved. Not when she had someone like Hannibal to compete with for the right to Will's heart.
It wasn't fair.
And he knew that she wouldn't escape the dangers of his world. She'd be dragged in somehow and she would never escape. Unlike Hannibal, she wasn't built for the harsh realities of life.
Will's pitiful attempt at normalcy was cracking right before his eyes, and yet he was too busy focusing on Hannibal Lecter to care about anything else.
At some point, Will had become Love's fool.
He tried to ignore how the voice of his father in his mind, took up its pleased humming once again.
It was too loud unfortunately.
Poseidon evidently supported the relationship between Hannibal and Will. It was so strange to know that the god had a front row seat to everything and was literally keeping tabs on them. Did he not have other things to do? Was Will's love life really so interesting that Poseidon took time out of his days to pay attention to the goings on?
Well then. Was this like the equivalent of meeting the parents? Will had only ever read about it, or seen it occasionally on television. But he'd never had this experience in his life before.
Would there ever have to be an introduction between Hannibal and his father if Poseidon already knew everything anyway? Was Will really sitting there and thinking about introducing his not-boyfriend to his dad? New experiences every day, all because of Hannibal fucking Lecter.
He wasn't sure of who to blame for this situation, but Will refused to be at the center of it. Everyone but him was at fault for his dramatic ass love life. He didn't choose Love. Love fell upon him and refused to relinquish its hold on his heart, mind, and soul.
Their adversary was dead and Will and Hannibal were so battered up that Will was certain moving was painful for the both of them. He was bleeding from the face and felt like he'd been struck by a semi. Hannibal looked no better, his clothes covered in drying blood. But he looked strong. Like a warrior.
"This is all I ever wanted for you, Will," Hannibal confessed, voice raspy with exertion and pain. "For both of us."
Killing felt good. He was finally coming to grips with the fact that Hannibal had spoken truth all those years ago. He knew it deep down, but hadn't wanted to acknowledge it before now. But it was too beautiful not to. And would have done their work a great disservice if he attempted to dismiss it through some messed up sense of morality that was barely hanging on by a frayed thread. It was beautiful especially in the moonlight.
"It's beautiful," Will whispered, leaning into Hannibal's embrace and allowing himself the closeness he'd never truly allowed before. And Hannibal's arms came around him without hesitation, warm and inviting, showing that he'd been wanting this for a long time.
The man nuzzled into Will's cheek, obviously pleased. The contact made the sharp pain in the wound on Will's face throb, but he liked the closeness that came with it and didn't mind even as his blood covered Hannibal's own face.
Knowing the FBI would be hot on their tails, and knowing that this was the moment where Will was absolutely honest with Hannibal, he made his decision. He was running away with the love of his life and was revealing the truth about himself in the process. Laying it all bare.
A simple tug was enough to get Hannibal to follow him off the bluff, letting gravity pull them toward the sharp rocks below. He'd happily die now so long as it was in Will's arms. The sap.
Will wasn't trained. Anything he knew was from his own exploration of his abilities. He didn't have finesse and he wasn't super skilled in what he did. But he wasn't incapable either and he'd messed around before when he was bored.
With enough concentration, a massive jet of water shot up from the ocean and caught them easily, long before they could make impact with the water and rocks. Will was used to it and felt the water curve enough around his form to keep him steady so he didn't fall. And with Hannibal in his arms, he knew he was in control for the time being.
And there was work to be done.
Already the water was spreading over his aching body, healing all his injuries and rejuvenating him. It was as if he was a new man. And in the wake of this sudden wellness, he was made aware of the fact that Hannibal was not doing well and that he was suffering from a near-fatal injury himself.
Meaning Will would have to look after his health for the next several weeks.
This time it was Will's job to protect and care for Hannibal while he recovered.
The possessive side of him liked the idea of his soon-to-be lover needing him so thoroughly. Hannibal having to rely on him for anything was like some form of poetic justice. But Will would not be unmerciful because he'd wanted this about as much as Hannibal did.
They both got what they wanted in the end. Each other.
The water moved under his direction as the sky began to lighten along the horizon, and Will knew it was the dawn of a new day. In more ways than one.
"A demigod?" Hannibal asked, feeling like he couldn't wrap his mind around the revelation his dear Will had just spilled to him with complete earnesty.
Will nodded, staring out at the water he'd insisted they spend the afternoon near. They'd brought along a picnic and everything. "My origin tale is a bit… odd but I am what I am. He's been here my whole life, in the only way he could manage it. He approves of you."
While the words sounded impossible in the order they'd been placed in, Hannibal could tell when Will was lying. Will truly believed what he was saying at this moment.
A quick glance at Hannibal's face, had his beautiful Will smiling. He turned back to the water and said clearly, "Dad, can you do something to convince Hannibal of your presence?"
Immediately, the water split apart like the parting of the Red Sea, and resting in the center of the wet seafloor, was a heart made out of massive river stones.
Hannibal was very well aware of his jaw dropping in response, as well as Will's giggles.
His Will reached out to caress his face, a serene look overcoming his features. "Welcome to the family, Hannibal." He then leaned forward and very thoroughly kissed Hannibal breathless.
It was the best kiss of Hannibal's life.
Their love making also ended up being the best Hannibal ever had.
He simply hoped Will's birth father wasn't watching at those moments though. Hannibal was possessive over his Will after all.
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