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Fic: The Things We Do for Love (Matthew Brown/Will Graham, PG)

Title: The Things We Do for Love

Fandom: Hannibal

Pairing: Matthew Brown/Will Graham

Author’s Notes: There are other things I should be working on but this little pairing that could side-swiped me out of nowhere and I had to write something for it. Second person POV. <3


You start following the murders long before their architect is given a name, recognise the pattern before anyone else admits to seeing it. Heart, liver, kidneys - the collection isn’t about taking trophies to keep, it’s about taking trophies to eat.

As soon as you see Will Graham for the first time, you know he isn’t the Chesapeake Ripper, or a copycat following in the Ripper’s footsteps. Will is a light, casting a shadow for the Ripper, the Minnesota Shrike, and the copycat killer to hide in. You’re used to moving from shadow to shadow, have learned to love the lights that make it possible for you to hide, and Will is only different to the lights you’ve loved before in that he’s still alive.

Will understands in a glance what others take years to unravel, he holds himself with the painful dignity of someone who knows they have been wronged, and he is beautiful.

You can see the potential. Someone who understands as quickly and cleanly as Will is someone who could understand the beauty and satisfaction of killing - you just need to show it to him. You offer your friendship to him, offer your hands and a promise to use them however he pleases.

He takes it.

You can almost taste Will’s thanks when you kick the bucket out from under Hannibal Lecter, but the drop is too short and saves him from a broken neck; you think yourself a failure for it, and in other universes where Hannibal truly earned his place on that cross, you would have stayed one.

But Hannibal is greater than you thought, and he visits you in the hospital, an empty syringe in hand that he taps against your ankle as he makes an offer.

He offers to make everything right. He can see Will’s potential as clearly as you, he’s just less inclined to share what he can see. He offers to turn you into the copycat killer. He can provide proof, make you take Will’s place. It will cost you your life, and Will his innocence.

You tell Hannibal there’s no need to inject you with air. You’ll say exactly what he wants.

You give him every alibi you ever had so he can dismantle it, and fall asleep easily.

You know the state is doing everything it can to speed up your death, but paperwork and politics slow everything down regardless, and it affords Will a chance to visit you.

You weren’t expecting a visit, but it’s a pleasant surprise, and you lean against the bars of your cell, smile at him.

He’s stricken and angry and curious, and you could watch the thoughts dancing behind his eyes for hours.

“Why?” Will asks, and you bite your lip, watch him bite his own, mirroring you without realising it.

“There are other hawks,” you reply, and you lift a hand to your mouth, kiss it, hold it out. Orderlies shout at you, at Will, from further down the hallway. It doesn’t matter.

Will copies you, knowing exactly what he is doing this time, and shakes your hand before he leaves.

You watch him walk, shadows crossing over his skin like caresses as he moves under each light, and you clench your hand, hold it over your heart.

It’s enough.


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January 2016

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