Title: Grown Men Don't Need Taking Care Of
Fandom: Red Dragon
Characters/Pairing: Will Graham, Jack Crawford, maybe Will/Francis (Dolarhyde) if you really look for it
Word Count: 1168
Disclaimer: I do not own Red Dragon, for I am not the greatness that is Thomas Harris.
Author's Note: This version is unbeta'd. Written for the Fanfiction Critique Group (FCG) challenge. (check it out: http://fanfictioncritiquegroup .freeforums. org)
Summary: Now he was a lazy drunk in Florida; unmarried and full of self-pity. He wasn't sure it was love he felt for Francis, but it was something. Nothing at all like what he felt for Molly, his ex-wife, he knew for certain. Understanding, maybe. He had taken so long to get inside his head, Will didn't want it to end this quickly, not when he just got inside of the Dragon's head.
Go away, come back, go away, come back; his thoughts were like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between sides. The ceiling was dark, shadows from passing cars playing across it. He disliked it. The shadows gave him hope - or was it dread? He couldn't tell anymore, everything felt the same to him now - that maybe he was coming back, that maybe Jack had lied, that maybe the Dragon survived. That maybe he was coming to finish what he started.
Will Graham didn't know when he first began to feel something for Francis Dolarhyde. All he knew was that when he was in the hospital and heard that the serial killer was dead, something in him clenched up.
Now he was a lazy drunk in Florida; unmarried and full of self-pity. He wasn't sure it was love he felt for Francis, but it was something. Nothing at all like what he felt for Molly, his ex-wife, he knew for certain. Understanding, maybe. He had taken so long to get inside his head, Will didn't want it to end this quickly, not when he just got inside of the Dragon's head.
Jack would come by in the morning. Will turned his head to face his alarm clock. It was four in the morning and he wasn't tired. He had two beer bottles in his hands, both half-empty. He had decided to drink his troubles and fears away since Molly broke up with him. Will couldn't blame her - after Francis sliced up his face, his face looked like it had gone through a meat-grinder.
But he couldn't kill himself. He didn't know why… no, he did, but he still had some pride left. He wouldn't admit it to anybody, not even himself. He was a coward - always had been, always will be.
He was sprawled out in a chair, his hair covering the scars on his face. Even he didn't want to see his face. He was like Two-Face; one side was somewhat good-looking, and the other was completely destroyed.
He was in between being awake and asleep when he heard pounding on the door. To his surprise, he easily got up - the beer bottles still clutched in his hands - and went to the door. He set the bottles on the ground before opening the door.
"Will," Jack said. Will moved out of the way - stumbling slightly in the process - and let him in. His house was a complete mess, but he never had the urge to clean it.
Books and assorted papers were everywhere, on the floor, on the coffee table, on the couch, on the television. There weren't as many beer bottles as one might suspect, but there were still too many to be hanging around. They were all empty, except for the two half-empty ones by the door. Files were also scattered around the living room, files that he shouldn't have had access to.
"You're a wreck," Jack said, standing beside the couch. He didn't want to sit down. Will nodded.
"I know," he said. He leaned against the wall for support. "Want a beer?"
"Actually, I came here for another reason," Jack said. Will snorted.
"An intervection?" Will asked. Jack smiled and laughed.
"No," Jack said. "And what you mean is intervention." Will scowled at him.
"Then what do you want?" Will snapped.
"I want to know what your problem is," Jack said. Will spread his arms out.
"Look at me," Will said. "Look at my house. What does it look like my problem is?" Jack turned around.
"It looks like you're afraid of something," Jack said. "And you're drinking your problems away."
"Brilliant deduction, detective," Will said. Jack wondered how Will could be so drunk (he could smell him) but be so… normal. As normal as Will could be, that is.
"What are you afraid of?" Jack asked. "Dolarhyde is dead." Will sighed heavily and hung his head, rubbing his temples. The room was spinning and he bent down and picked up one of the beers he had set down earlier. He took a long drink, ignoring Jack's question.
"Answer me, Will," Jack said, his eyes locked on the beer bottle.
"Look at me," Will said. "I'm a freak, and I have this strange connection with serial killers and this urge to get inside their heads. Then, when I finally get there, I never want to leave. I'm afraid that I'll turn into one of them, Jack. That's what I'm afraid of." Jack began to question whether or not Will was really drunk, or if he just hadn't showered in days.
"You need to look after yourself, Will," Jack said. "I can't have you like this. You're my friend, dammit, and I don't like seeing you this way." Will gave a dry bark of laughter. He bent down to get the other beer bottle. He had grown immune to its bitter taste. It tasted like water to him now.
"What way?" Will asked. "Me being deformed, or me drinking?" Jack scowled at him.
"Both," he said. "You have a problem-"
"I won't go to those programs," Will said. "I'm not a drunk." Jack pointed to the beer bottle still in his hand.
"You're clutching it like your life depends on it," Jack said. Will looked down at it, then looked out the window. His face was fully exposed to Jack, who recoiled away from it. It was starting to rain, the droplets hitting the window sharply.
"My life does depend on it," Will said, turning back to face Jack. His hair dangled in front of the scars but didn't cover them completely. "If I drink it, I'm even closer to being dead. If I don't, I get one more minute of life." Jack shook his head.
"I worry about you," Jack said.
"You really shouldn't," Will said, taking a swig of his beer. "I'm a grown man, I can take care of myself." Jack sighed softly and walked over to the door, keeping his eyes away from Will's face. Will didn't care.
"Molly is doing well," Jack said. "She said to tell you hello." Will ignored him, his insides burning as he thought of Molly, of how they used to love each other, of how he finally had a family until Dolarhyde took them away.
"Don't mention her," Will said. "Please… don't talk about her." He didn't want to be reminded of the past, of his mistakes, of his lost family. Willy and Molly, they were gone now and Will felt like he was going, too. It was only a matter of time until his heart gave out, and he'd be here, laying on his couch with a beer in one hand and another beer in his other hand.
"See you later," Jack said. Will just grunted and slammed the door behind him. He sat back down on the couch, staring at an old letter from Hannibal on the table and taking another swig of his beer.