Title: Breakfasting In Stockholm
Characters: Will Graham, Bedelia Du Maurier
Summary: AU where surgeon Hannibal kidnapped Will as he was moving to New Orleans to join the police force. Will was rescued and Hannibal is in prison. (Really it's just Will in Bedelia's office justifying his love for Hannibal.)
"I've never known myself as well as I know myself when I'm with him."
His face was beatific as he described the man that had so completely changed his life, his whole world.
Hannibal - the name itself had a weight behind it. And the man--the monster--loomed so large that Will disappeared. And he didn't mind it. He was glad to give himself up to Hannibal's greatness. To be subsumed by his love.
"Without him, I feel as though I'm ceasing to exist." He frowned, a furrow forming between his brows. "I need him."
"You don't need him, Will. You know that."
"That's easy for you to say, Dr. Du Maurier. You don't feel how I feel."
"No." He opened his eyes and looked directly at her, stared into her eyes for the first time ever. She looked startled. It could have been funny, if he wasn't so tired (so empty).
"I need him more than he needs me," he said. "I'm terrified that he's never going to come back. That he's done with me" (doesn't love me).
"Will. Listen to me: Hannibal kidnapped you. He assaulted you. He performed criminal unethical psychological experiments on you. It is only luck that you are still alive."
He snorted. "I notice you didn't say that I was whole."
"No, I didn't. But you are getting better, I promise you that. You don't need him."
"But what if I want him?"
"You can't have him, Will. He's a sadist and a narcissist, which are bad enough. But he's also a kidnapper."
"He kidnapped me. And I forgave him." Will fisted his hands to keep from biting his fingers. "I love him."
"And that's why you can't see him, Will. I cannot in good conscience sign off on you visiting him in prison."
"Please," he hated the desperate whine in his voice. He sounded like a wounded animal. "I need your signature. They won't let me see him without your signature."
"I need him to keep loving me."
"Will - No."
He wanted to scream and yell--to destroy her office--but he didn't want to be committed again. He'd die in there.
"Our time is nearly over," she said. "I'm not going to authorize your visit to the prison. And I want you to think about why."
"I know why!" he shouted. "Because you think I went crazy when he... he did those things to me. But I didn't.
"He... he is transcendent. He is light and warmth, and when he filled me up, it overflowed. He made me beautiful.
"I've never felt beautiful before. He's the only one." His breath hitched in a sob. "I'll die without him."
She crossed her legs. "No you won't. You will learn to live and be happy again. It's the only way to survive."
"Don't I get a choice?" he asked plaintively.
"Not this time, Will. Go home. Pet your dogs. Take a walk..."
"And come back next week," he finished for her.
"Exactly," she said. "And Will..."
"Stop sending him letters."
"I..." He wanted to lie, to say that he hadn't been writing any letters. But the warden had probably contacted her.
"You may continue to write the letters for yourself, but you have to stop mailing them," Dr. Du Maurier said. "You need to stop trying to contact him, Will. For your own mental well-being."
"You said that you would die without him."
"Hyperbole. What else could it have been?"
"A clear sign that you are in no mental state to decide Hannibal Lecter's place in your life." She sighed through her nose, finely drawn nostrils flaring minutely. "You cannot see him, Will. Not now, and not for a long time."
"You mean, never. You don't ever want me to see him again."
"That is what I would recommend, yes. But we both know why I didn't phrase it that way."
"I wouldn't have taken it as a challenge," he grumbled, knowing it was a lie. When it came to Hannibal there was no room for logic in his head, just the all-encompassing whatever this was that was his love for Hannibal. And no matter how many people tried to tell him it wasn't real -- it was real to him. That was all that he knew.
Everything he felt for Hannibal was real because he was feeling it. Like static electricity but under his skin, it was the itching uncontrollable inevitability of obsession. Nobody could meet Hannibal and not get a bit of a taste for it (for Hannibal), but nobody else had ever spent so much time with him and lived. Nobody but Will.
"I miss him," he blurted out.
Dr. Du Maurier's gaze was a heavy thing upon him. "I know," she said. And both of them were reminded that she had known Hannibal Lecter once. It had been the reason Will chose her as his therapist: the idea that she would understand.
"Hannibal is a force of nature," he said. "There's no stopping the changes he makes."
"And do you feel changed by him?"
Will scoffed. "How could I not have been? I was so young and foolish. He climbed into my head and made himself a home there. And now I never want him to leave."
"But do you think he should -- leave your life, that is?" she pressed, gentle, ever-so-gentle, eyes sharp to the sudden shift that could sometimes go through his mood. He appreciated her care as much as he hated it.
"Hannibal is never going to leave me," he said. "He loves me."
"For all you know, he doesn't remember who you are. You can't know that he loves you."
"I know," Will said. A not-unpleasant warmth went through him at the thought of the secret he had kept so well. "He loves me and I love him, and if you would just let us write to each other, you would be able to see that our love is real."
"Be that as it may, I cannot in good conscience sign off on you exchanging letters with Hannibal Lecter. I'm sorry, Will. But the two of you will not be communicating."
Will wanted to argue, but it wouldn't help his cause. "Let's shelve the letter writing at this time," he offered. "I have other things happening in my life than letters to Hannibal. I... I, ah, I found a new dog. His name is Winston."
Her sigh at hearing about him adding another dog to his pack was a relief. She'd accepted the subject change, even if just for the moment. He could work with that.