A/N: Ok, random one shot time. This is just a cute li'l Raoul n' Philippe fic about Raoul, for some odd reason, not wanting to go into the Navy. So a tad OOC. Maybe not accurate. I don't care. Enjoy!
(Title will probably be scrapped later as soon as I can think of a better one.)
Thirty-six-year-old Philippe de Chagny toyed with his egg on its little cup, eyeing his younger brother of sixteen years from across the table. Raoul was eating the lavish spread before him with great gusto, having eaten 3 pancakes and was now starting his eggs. Philippe, though apprehensive, was pleased: his younger half was looking healthy and tanned, from his stay with his aunt at the coastal town of Brest, and he was energetic and talkative. Lanky, awkward with the clumsy grace of adolescents, Raoul jabbered on about the ships he'd seen the sailors he'd spoken to at the docks. His older brother listened, smiling, still fiddling with his egg.
"You know, Raoul," he remarked casually, carefully planning his spring, "since you seem to enjoy the sea so much…the ships…well, your sisters, aunt, and I have been discussing some things. You're a fine young lad…soon to be reaching manhood…and, well, I think your horizons should be broadened a little, outside of Paris and France…"
Raoul listened, blue eyes innocent. He reached for some juice and knocked over the milk with his elbow. Philippe waited until it had been cleared by the butler before continuing.
"We thought some Naval training would be just the thing. On a training ship. There are many fine men in the Navy and –" Raoul turned white and uttered a girlish scream.
"AAAAAAAAAH! I'M NOT GOING TO THE NAVY! I WON'T! I WON'T!"
Philippe ducked as a bread-roll sailed over his head. It hit the butler, Jacques, in the nose.
"Raoul! For God's sake, keep your voice down! You must act civil about these matters, your sisters and I didn't bring you up to behave like this –"
"You're despicable!" the youngster whined, "You're trying to get rid of me!"
"I most certainly am not." He glared at Raoul, whose lip was pouting, kicking his legs against the table like a child.
"You are. Or something else."
"I don't want to go the Navy."
"Why not?" Philippe asked irritably.
"Because," was the sullen reply, "you know what they say about men in the Navy."
"No," the elder said, nonplussed, "What?"
"Philippe, don't you know?" Raoul stared at him wide-eyed. A flush settled on his youthful cheekbones.
"No. Tell me."
"I thought you would know. I thought you were smart."
Philippe gritted his teeth. "What is it?"
"Shan't," Raoul mumbled, lowering his head. "It's…embarrassing. And odd. I don't understand it, actually."
The adolescent picked at his eggs. "Most men…that I talk to or have seen…aren't…well…they're different."
"In what way?" Philippe was curious, and a little amused. His brother squirmed. "One day I was talking to some as they unloaded their ship. You know. They. Um. Seemed friendly."
"Don't look at me like that, Philippe! I mean…very friendly. With…each other."
"Ah." Philippe knew what his brother meant. This was Paris, after all. "Maybe they were just good friends?" he suggested innocently, not knowing why he was drawing it out.
"Philiiiiiippe…" Raoul whined, "You do know what I'm talking about!"
The Chagny patriarch flexed his fingers. Time for that birds-and-the-bees conversation, despite that fact he'd already had it with Raoul, though he failed to mention this little bit. "Raoul," he said solemnly, "it's time you understand that humans have different sexualities…"
"I know that." The pause after this suggested the contrary.
"Do you? Jolly good." Philippe was about to crack his egg when a fearful voice spoke up across from him.
"Why? Are you trying to suggest something?"
"No. I don't know what you're talking about."
"You hinted that…that…"
Philippe looked up. "Well, are you that way inclined?"
Philippe put his head down on the table, then lifted it. "Raoul," he said in kind tones, "Do you find men attractive? I know that at your age one must define one's sexual status…"
Raoul flushed madly. "I don't find men attractive!" Pause. "In that way."
"Fine," Philippe said patiently. He ate his egg. Raoul squirmed.
"Anyway…you've put me off the topic! I don't WANT to go into the Navy!"
"Because you don't want to be around those sorts of men? Be open-minded, Raoul. After all, our great ancestor Chagny de La Roche was an admiral…"
"I don't care. All our relatives are either fossilized or mental…he must've been the worst of them."
"Raoul!" Philippe said sharply. "Do not speak of our relatives or ancestors in that manner!"
"Oh come on, Philippe…Uncle Renard, walking around naked telling complete strangers how he killed whales with a toothpick…Cousin Jiselle, married to an imaginary horse called Oscar…Aunt Marie, so old she's practically preserved by all the alcohol she drinks…they're all bats."
"Well, some may be a bit senile, but they're Chagnys all the same."
"Yes. How noble our family is." Raoul glared at the sugar bowl.
"I may remind you that we're descended from the French kings, Raoul, and you should take pride in your heritage."
"Makes sense. Madness usually runs in kings." Philippe sighed. "Now: why else don't you want to be in the Navy?"
Raoul grimaced. "Seawater makes my skin all dry. I'm trying to regulate my skin's natural oils." He felt his cheek thoughtfully, and grinned. "See? Silky smooth!"
"And that salt spray, Philippe, do you know what it does to your hair? It makes it all horribly dry and matted, so your head resembles a haystack. Ugh." The boy shuddered, and ran a hand through his shiny golden hair to reassure himself.
Philippe received this calmly. Unlike other teenage boys, Raoul was not scruffy or unkempt. Quite the opposite. He kept himself so meticulously well-groomed that a speck of dust risked death by lodging under his fingernails. Philippe blamed his sisters.
"Be as that may, I've already assigned you to the Borda. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you'll build character. Besides, you like the sea."
Sulky silence from across the table.
"I don't want to end up all sea-weathered and scarred and smelly like all those other sailors."
"You're going, I said."
"…If I'm going, I'm taking a lot of soap."
"And oranges. I'm not ruining my pearly white teeth by getting scurvy."
"Will they make me swab decks?"
"I don't know, Raoul."
"I'm not getting down on my hands and knees. I'm not an animal."
Philippe cleared his plate. "I'm sure you won't swab decks."
"Clean the poop? Or is that the same thing?"
"It depends." Philippe smirked.
"Oh EW! You're disgusting!" Raoul grinned anyway. "For shame, Philippe!"
Suddenly Philippe found himself being hugged fiercely by his brother. He smiled and ruffled Raoul's hair. "Now you don't feel like hurling bread-rolls at me?"
"I'm sorry," Raoul replied, his voice muffled against the other's shoulder, "I'll just miss you. You're my older brother."
The Count looked Raoul in the eye. "You may find this hard to believe, but I'll miss you as well."
Raoul beamed, and hugged him tighter, burying his face in Philippe's neck. Then he sniffed suspiciously.
"You've been using my soap."
"My soap. That nice expensive lavender one I bought."
"I haven't touched your soap."
"You have." Raoul withdrew.
"I'm not getting into another argument."
"Well, why do you smell like lavender?"
Philippe flushed slightly. "If you must know, La Sorelli wears lavender perfume."
"Ohh. Now I understand why you were so long at the Opera house." Raoul dodged Philippe, laughing.
"One of these days…" Philippe sighed, then shook his head, smiling. Raoul ran off upstairs. The elder Chagny retired to his study, and decided also to go find a clean shirt. Actually, he hadn't seen Sorelli today, with her enchanting lavender musk: He'd wondered whose soap that was…
Ok, ok, I know, pretty random and obscure. But I felt like writing it so nyah. :D Yes, I am trying to update my other stuff! Please be patient! Reviews for this are appreciated, flames will be laughed at. Bingo, bango, boom.