Disclaimer: I don't own Shamanic Princess or Phantom of the Opera.
Author's notes: Sorry for the delay, hadn't realized I had back to back exams this last two weeks when I promised to have this up within a week. But anyway at least the fic is done (Yay!). Here's the last chapter, enjoy!
Kagetsu dropped from the windowsill to crouch next to Leon.
"Where are we?" he asked, both men looking about them.
"The torture chamber," answered Leon grimly.
"The torture… Why did you bring us here?!
The other man had the decency to look somewhat embarrassed. "It wasn't my intention to lead us to this room. It's been a while since I was here last and wasn't quite sure which window leads where. Forgive me, your Grace."
"Well, nothing much we can do about that now," he said taking cautious steps further in to the room.
"Your Grace, perhaps we ought to be more – "
"Shh," the Viscount warned the other man quietly. "I heard something beyond these walls."
Leon strained his ear to listen and true enough, the faint sound of someone sobbing was heard. Both men hurried to press their ears on the wall.
Leon's eyes widened. "It's Miss Tiara!"
Kagetsu hurriedly stepped back and searched along the wall for some way out. Failing to find one. The young man pounded on the wall with his fist and yelled out for the opera singer.
"Please, your Grace," Leon said in a panic. "Keep your voice down! Graham might hear us."
"I don't care! Tiara, can you hear me? Answer me!"
The rustling of clothes was heard from the other side and then a faint voice. "Kagetsu…"
"Yes, Tiara, it's me. I'm on the other side of the wall."
"Oh, Kagetsu," Tiara exclaimed. "How did you manage to find this place?"
"It's a long story. Suffice it to say Leon helped me. Give us a few minutes and we'll get you out of here."
"Miss Tiara," Leon said through the wall. "Do you know where Graham is at the moment?"
"I'm not quite sure. He left a few minutes ago." Suddenly, panic replaced the joy in Tiara's heart.
"Kagetsu," she said in alarm. "You have to leave right away. You mustn't let Graham find you here."
"I'm not leaving without you!"
"But you must! If he knows of your presence in this house, he'll kill you."
"Let him try," Kagetsu replied bravely. "There isn't a chance I'm leaving you with him."
"Kagetsu, please you have to –"
Both men looked at each other in alarm as Tiara suddenly broke off what she was saying. The black-haired man called out through the wall with trepidation.
"Tiara, are you alright?"
"Quiet," came the soft command from the opposite side. "I hear something. I think it's Graham, he's coming back. Please just leave and let me take care of him."
Kagetsu was about to protest, but Leon placed a hand over the Viscount's mouth. Not long after they heard the voice of another man.
"Well, my dear. Have you decided?"
There was a pause before Tiara spoke up. "What guarantee do I have that you won't hurt him even after I do as you say?"
"You have my promise, Tiara," Graham said solemnly. "You know I never go back on my word. Just say you'll be my wife and the good Viscount lives."
Kagetsu gave a muffled yell behind Leon's mouth. It took all the brunette's strength to restrain the taller man from charging through the wall. Their struggle suddenly stopped upon hearing Graham's next words.
"What was that noise?"
"I didn't hear anything," came Tiara's denial.
Leon frantically looked for the trap door he knew was located somewhere on the floor. He knew that Graham would be looking into the room any second now. They needed to get out of sight quickly.
He spotted what he was looking for and dragged Kagetsu with him. He had just placed a hand on the handle when an ominous voice called out to them from behind.
"I highly advise you not to go in there."
Both men turned and saw Graham's masked face looking at them through a small window on the wall.
On the other side of the wall, Tiara felt her heart fiercely beat against her chest as Graham approached the divider separating them from Kagetsu and Leon.
"Graham, really. I think you're just imagining things. I didn't hear anything."
The masked man ignored her and with a twist of one of the flower ornaments mounted on the wall, a small window slid open.
"I highly advise you not to go in there," he told the two men in the other room.
Tiara gasped and ran towards Graham. She had a feeling Kagetsu wouldn't listen to her, but still she had hoped that they were able to hide at least. The oranged-haired singer desperately clutched on to one of the phantom's arms.
"Please, Graham," she pleaded. "Don't hurt them."
"Stay out of this," he warned and pushed her away. He turned back his attention to the two occupants of his torture chamber.
"There's no point in hiding," he told them. "You see, through that trap door are barrels and barrels of gun powder. Hiding in there would be quite counter productive, don't you think?"
Graham watched as the two men paled at his revelation and gave a small laugh.
"I'm disappointed in you, Leon," the phantom said. "I spare your life and this is how you repay me. By bringing him into my house!"
"Graham," Leon tried to reason with the other man. "Please stop this madness. You can't force Tiara into marrying you when it's clearly obvious where her heart truly lies."
"Enough!" Graham roared. "I don't want to hear anymore of your pitiful lies."
His gaze shifted to the tall man standing next to the concierge. "Well, your Grace, at least you've saved me the trouble of hunting you down. If Tiara happens to deny my request and says 'no,' I can just blow us all up. At least that way, no one will have her."
"No!" Tiara screamed. "My answer's 'yes.' I'll be your wife Graham, just please don't hurt Kagetsu."
Graham slowly turned and walked back to where Tiara stood. Kagetsu on the other hand ran to the small portal and screamed his protest.
"Tiara no! Don't do it! I love you, please don't do this."
Tiara ignored Kagetsu and looked directly into Graham's eyes. "Your promise."
"I gave you my word," he said in return. "His safety in exchange for your hand in marriage."
At her nod, the phantom slowly reached up and to remove his mask. He saw her eyes widen at his deformity, but did not shrink back. Graham slowly bent down to place a kiss on her forehead and felt a tear escape from the corner of his eye when she still did not pull away. Kagetsu could only watch the scene before him in dismay. After Graham pulled back, Tiara reached up and wiped the tear away from his face.
"Why do you cry when I did what you asked?" she asked him with a frown.
Graham studied her without saying anything, his eyes sad and thoughtful. Seconds passed by in silence. Finally the white-haired man gave a small smile.
"I guess I've just now realized what true love is," he told her softly.
Tiara gave him a quizzical look as he cupped her face with one of his hands.
"Sacrifices," he said almost to no one in particular. "It's all about making sacrifices."
He stepped closer and enveloped her in a gentle embrace. "I love you," he whispered in her ears.
Graham gave Tiara another kiss on the forehead before releasing her and walking towards the wall. He gave Kagetsu a piercing gaze and then he reached over to another one of the flowers on the wall. With a turn, a door slid open to let the two men out of the torture chamber. Graham stood in front of Kagetsu and held out the make shift ring-necklace in front of him. The Viscount sparred a glance at Tiara before he hesitantly took the proffered item from the phantom.
"I ask only one request," Graham told Kagetsu.
The young Viscount gave the white-haired man a confused nod.
"Treat her well. Give her nothing but the best." Graham looked back at the young singer. "I wish nothing but happiness for her. That is why I'm letting you both go."
When it finally registered what he said, Tiara gave a happy cry and this time gave him a hug.
"Oh thank you, Graham," she said gratefully.
Graham gently disentangled himself from Tiara and turned away. "Go, before I change my mind."
Kagetsu stepped up and wrapped his arms around Tiara.
"Thank you," he told Graham. "I too am a man of my word. I will take very good care of her, that I promise."
"I know you will," came the almost inaudible reply.
The couple walked out of the room hand in hand. Leon made to follow, but held back for a while.
"What do you intend to do now, Graham," he asked the other man.
"Disappear," he answered.
Graham replaced the mask on his face and turned to Leon. "Can you do one last thing for me?"
"Of course. What is it?"
"Post an obituary in the newspaper for me … tell them … tell them that the phantom is no more."