Will Graham came to, once again sprawled out on the filthy mattress, locked up back in his stone prison. He groaned and sat up, relieved to at least be waking up alone.
His entire body ached. Will's face was a swollen mess of cuts, blood and bruises, as were his neck, ribs, wrist, and other... more delicate areas.
He glanced around edgily, scanning the corners of the room to make sure Hannibal wasn't lurking in the shadows. I'm starting to make a habit of this... He thought bitterly. A shiver ran through his body, and he pulled his knees up to his bare chest, hugging his naked skin against the chill of the room.
Time dragged on, and Will remained lost in his own thoughts. He refused to think of what had happened... yesterday morning? Earlier today? He shook the thoughts off. It didn't matter now, time was irrelevant in this place.
Will had no idea how long he sat there. It could have been a few hours, maybe longer. However, the now familiar sound of a heavy door opening somewhere close by sent ice-cold stabs of panic through his gut. He pulled his knees closer, pushing his small form back into the far corner, trying desperately to cover himself up.
The sound of the door to his cell opening, quickly followed by soft footsteps, told him that Hannibal had entered, but still he refused to look up. He stared fixedly at a particularly grim stain in front of his toes, chewing anxiously at his swollen lip.
"Hello Will." Hannibal spoke so sickeningly calmly, as if they were just two old friends having a chat over coffee.
Will remained silent, drawing his knees closer and digging his toes uncomfortably into the mattress. He could hardly bear to be near to Hannibal, but the thought of looking at him, or talking to him, made his blood run cold.
"I have made you some dinner. You are going to eat it this time, or I will force feed you. I do not think you would find that experience preferable to eating." He once again stated these words with a calm, cold indifference, his words sending shivers of fear up Will's spine.
"I trust that you will be better behaved. We don't want a repeat of this morning, do we?" Will buried his face in his folded arms, his face burning bright red with shame and hurt, tears welling in his haunted eyes.
"Do we?" That all too familiar hard edge had returned to the psychopath's voice, and Will shook his head fervently.
"Good." Will flinched away violently when Hannibal's hand closed around his wrist, his fingers working to undo the padlock chaining him to the wall. He heard Hannibal sigh, but he continued without interruption.
Will waited expectantly after he was released, waiting for the cool bite of handcuffs around his bloody wrists.
"I brought you some clothing, Will. You are not going to dine with me naked." Finally Will looked up, glancing up with almost hopeful eyes. Hannibal was holding a small, folded pile of clothes, including a pair of jeans, some grey boxers and socks, a red and grey plaid shirt and some scuffed old shoes.
His heart faltered a little as he looked at the clothing, confusion clouding his handsome face.
"You... you went to my house?" The clothes were all unmistakably his own. Will felt ill at the thought of Hannibal being inside his own home.
"Yes. It's a lovely little place, I visit often." Will stared at Hannibal blankly, mouth hanging upon slightly in confusion and dawning realisation.
Hannibal smiled darkly. "Whenever I feel like it. You must have terrible nightmares, Will. All that tossing and turning. Sometimes you even scream."
Will stared in horror, his mind reeling, unable to form a sentence.
"How... how do you...?" He trailed off uncertainly.
"How do I get in, are you trying to say?" Hannibal smirked, "With the key I had cut."
Will's mind was racing, his stomach twisting with the idea that this psychopath had been in his house, exploring freely through his possessions, and watching him while he slept.
"My fishing lures..."
Hannibal nodded, wearing a cruel smile.
Suddenly, Will was filled with a fierce, burning anger, an intense hatred that boiled like acid in his mind. He wanted to shout, to scream. Call the sick bastard every filthy word under the sun. He wanted to launch at Hannibal and beat him into the filthy floor for everything he had done to him.
But he didn't. Will bit his tongue, clenched his fists, his whole body trembling. He knew now, that above all else, he had to finish what he came here for. He'd given up, lost in panic and self pity, loosing hope at a startling rate.
That had now changed.
He gritted his teeth and stood up painfully, crossing his skinny arms over his bare chest. Without making eye contact he quietly accepted the clothes from Hannibal, and dressed quickly, wincing regularly as the movement caused sharp spikes of agony to radiate through his body.
When he was done, Hannibal promptly cuffed him again, oblivious to the pain it caused to Will's raw wrists. Will was once more propelled up the stairs, walking stiffly and awkwardly, every step reminding him of his torn insides. They got to the kitchen and Will was made to sit, the cuff fastened in the same manner as it had been earlier that morning.
Once the food was placed in front of Will he obediently picked up his fork. He eyed the food dubiously. It was some sort of stew or soup, full of chunks of strange fruits or vegetables, but also with pieces of meat strewn through it.
Hannibal began eating without a word, but he fixed Will with a pointed stare, his eyes full of the threat of certain violence if he failed to comply.
Slowly, Will speared a piece of what looked kind of like potato, but not quite the same, onto his fork. He shut his eyes and quickly pushed it into his mouth, before he had too much time to mull it over.
It tasted amazing, as he had expected. Maybe he could do this... if he just tried to forget what the key ingredient really was, Hannibal may trust him a little more for his act of submission. At the very least he would avoid having to suffer Hannibal's cruel punishment, or being force fed. He shuddered at the thought.
Will ate quickly, chewing as little as possible, avoiding tasting the food as far as he could. When he was done he laid his fork down next to his plate, peering up at Hannibal through his increasingly shaggy hair. He hesitated, then looked up at his face.
"Thank you. That was... very nice."
Hannibal smiled. It was not a cruel smile, but held a hint of something unpleasant. Possessiveness, perhaps? Or perhaps just dark pride at finally forcing Will to comply with him.
"You're welcome, Will."
They sat in silence for a while, before finally Hannibal pushed his chair out and stood. Will chewed his lip nervously, eyeing Hannibal's knife on the far side of the table. It was well out of reach, but if he could just get to it...
Hannibal approached and began fiddling with the cuffs. Will could feel his heart pounding in his temples, the hatred still burning through his whole body. With Hannibal focusing solely on the intricate lock of the cuff, Will reached a deft, nimble hand out to the table. His fingers closed carefully around the handle of the fork.
He glanced quickly at the man crouched over him. He hadn't noticed! Will's grip on the fork tightened, his knuckles going white against the polished sheen of the metal.
Finally, he felt his arm fall to his lap as it became detached from the arm of the chair.
And Will struck.
He lunged forward, plunging the fork into the meat of Hannibal's thigh. He yelled out, stumbling backwards.
Will used this time to stagger away, still horribly conscious of his previous injuries. He went to lurch round the side of the table, but before he could get three steps Hannibal was on him.
He had wrenched the fork from his flesh, leaving behind four evenly spaced puncture wounds, sluggishly leaving blood that stained Hannibal's trousers.
Will collided with the table as he was tackled from behind and thrown against it. Hannibal pinned him there, the younger man folded across the table at the waist, twisting his fingers viciously into his hair and forcing his cheek down against the surface. He was leaning across Will with his full weight, trapping him against the oak.
Hannibal wrenched Will's head back and slammed it down against the table. Will cried out in pain and struggled feebly against the stronger man's weight, but it was no use.
His head was raised once more, then slammed down even harder.
The whole time Hannibal was snarling at him. "You little bastard. You fucker. I'm gonna fuck you up so bad you whore."
Will managed to get his hand up onto the table and reached out desperately. He stretched, and his finger tips touched the smooth handle of Hannibal's gleaming knife.
He tugged it closer, and his fingers closing firmly around it. Hannibal, so caught up in fury, didn't even notice as he wrenched Will's battered head up a third time. He went to send it crashing to the table top, and Will whipped his arm up and around, aiming for his attacker's own arm and praying that it would meet it's mark.
The sound of Hannibal's scream was music to Will's ears, as he felt the knife connect solidly and plunge deep into his thick forearm. His hand sprang open, and Will just managed to stop his face colliding with the table broken-nose first.
He wriggled sideways, succeeding in slipping out from Hannibal's grasp.
Hannibal swore vilely, lunging towards Will, swinging his uninjured arm in blind rage. Will dodged sideways, but Hannibal swung back round with surprising speed. He caught Will with a vicious right hook to the jaw and he dropped like a stone.
Will tried desperately to crawl away, but was flipped over onto his back with a solid kick to his ribs. He screamed as he heard, and mostly felt at least two of his ribs bend and break under the blow.
Will lay flat on his back, seeing nothing but white from the burning agony scorching through his side. Hannibal dropped on top of him, straddling him and pinning his arms above his head, keeping the knife well away.
He leant down and hissed in Will's ear, his words laced with venom. "You're going to suffer for this Will Graham. I have so many ways to make you scream."
Will whimpered, his sight and a little of his strength returning to him. His hand twitched, desperate to bury the blade deep into the psychopath's heart.
Hannibal stared into Will's face, his bruise rimmed eyes mere inches from Will's own, breathing heavily and grinning with a demonic ecstasy at the thought of inflicting pain on the young man beneath him.
Will looked into Hannibal's eyes, ignoring the panic that flooded through his mind and body, and held his gaze. He stared his abuser in the face for five whole seconds, before he viciously whipped his forehead forward to connect with Hannibal's already injured nose.
He screamed and sat up abruptly, both hands clutching his once more profusely bleeding face.
Without hesitation Will sat up and lunged forward, burying the blade deep in the flesh of Hannibal's stomach.
He stopped still, both hands dropping to cradle his abdomen. His eyes widened... staring at Will in confusion.
A small, sad, choked off noise escaped his throat. He coughed abruptly, a spray of blood accompanying the spasm. A trickle of blood escaped from his open mouth and trickled down his chin.
Will watched silently as Hannibal wavered, then toppled sideways, landing heavily on his back, then lying still. A small pool of blood began to form on either side of him.
Will lay in stunned silence for several minutes, breathing heavily and staring at his abuser's lifeless corpse out of the corner of his eye. A smooth veil of serene numbness spread over his mind, his thought processes slowing down to a sluggish blur.
When Will's mind finally caught up with him, he struggled to his feet, breathing heavily from a combination of shock and the agony of his broken ribs.
He knew what he now had to do. He stumbled out into the hallway, going straight for the phone. He dialled nine-one-one and asked for police, giving them Hannibal's address. He told them that the inhabitant of the house was dead, but when they started asking questions and making demands to know his name, what had happened, what he was doing there, he quickly hung up.
Without stopping to look back, Will stumbled to the doorway. He broke out into the freezing night air and paused on the balcony, breathing heavily. He realised suddenly that he was crying. His face was streaked with tears, the salty drops mixing with his blood on their smooth path down his cheeks.
With a last look around, Will turned towards the woods behind Hannibal's house, and grimacing through the agony it caused him, he ran.
He ran, and he ran, and he didn't stop running.
But try as he might, Will Graham could never run far, or fast enough, to escape the torments he had suffered at the hands of Hannibal Lecter.
They would stay with him forever.