Disclaimer: I do not own them. Please do not sue me.
A/N: Feedback, please! Yes, I am shamelessly begging for reviews. I'm attempting to write an in-character Leroux Christine, which is a lot harder then I'd previously anticipated. I'm quite anxious about her being completely OOC. So please do tell me!
What Christine hated the most was the darkness.
In the deep recesses of the fifth cellar, where flickering oil lamps were the only, paltry, sources of light, it was easy to be accustomed to the darkness. The lake seemed a pool of spilt black ink, and if there were any windows, they only showed a pressing, overpowered blanket of darkness, where she'd have to strain her eyes to catch even the faintest glimmer of light.
The Phantom wasn't much help either. He was always garbed in black, save for his white linen, but his reassuring white-ness of his shirt was always covered by his cloak of his jacket, both a shade of black that seemed a sliver of darkness, and oddly made Christine want to cry. The only light- colored thing about him, besides his eyes (Christine did not like looking into the Phantom's eyes- it unnerved her terribly) and his horrid face (for obvious reasons, Christine tried not to look at his face) were his hands.
His hands were not much relief against his somber black ensemble. Erik's hands inexplicably smelt of death, and the skin on them seemed so pale and waxy they seemed to belong to a corpse.
Christine did not like looking at Erik's hands either.
In fact, Christine did not like looking at Erik much at all. He frightened her terribly. But she was an actress, was she not? And so she pretended, or tried her best to pretend that Erik, instead of being the corpse he himself proclaimed he was, was just an ordinary man. Sometimes Christine was even surprised at her acting ability.
But it was much harder to try and hide her longing for the sun. She wanted, more then anything, to run back up the stairs of the Opera house and sit, just for a moment, on the roof-top, and watch the sun rise. She prayed for it nightly.
The only relief she ever had from the darkness of the Phantom's lair was when he took her for carriage rides. Even then, it wasn't much comfort. They set out hours after the sunset, and they drove under the cold gaze of the moon. The stars seemed to wink broadly at her, mocking her for missing the sun, and the moon's cold silver rays seemed an even more paltry excuse for the sun then the oil lamps.
As much as she enjoyed that moment of freedom (albeit restrained- she was never to leave the carriage, and Erik was always watching her) it made her immeasurably sad. To have the smallest taste of freedom tormented her beyond belief, for she saw what she was missing, being locked up in that horrible dark lair. Sometimes, Christine just wanted to scream at the overpowering, pressing darkness, devoid of the light she loved.
But Christine tried to derive what consolation she could from her moon-lit drives. It was a chance to feel the night air, a chance to see real, live, normal people again, to let her thoughts float and wander up to God. She knew that she had to be going through what she was for a reason, and God would not abandon her. She clung to this thought with all her might, just as she clung to her memories of sunlight.
One night though, it seemed as if God, in his love and kindness, lifted the dark mantle of gloom that always seemed to smother her.
She saw Raoul.
Oh, it was wonderful to see him again, the glow of the streetlamp turning his hair into silken strands of gold, his eyes a brilliant blue, like the sky in the morning. He seemed so reassuringly alive and vivacious, to the healthy glow of his skin, to the reddish tinge of his cheeks and nose from being outside, in the cold.
His voice was sweet, and incredulous. His voice, just saying her name, was ten thousand times more welcome then any song of Erik's. Christine's eyes blurred with tears, and she leaned back from the window, the pain of being captive far too acute.
Erik yanked the window shade down so hard he nearly ripped it.
"Who was that?" he snapped, jealous, his fearsome yellow eyes narrowing into slits.
Christine pretended to sneeze into her hand to wipe her tears off on her glove. "I think it was that fellow I knew in childhood... Raoul? He is leaving for the North Pole in a month, is he not?"
Christine was surprised by her acting skills. Her voice barely trembled, and she doubted that even Erik could see her tears in the darkness of the carriage.
She heard another, fainter, "Christine!" and had to press her fist to her mouth to keep from crying out.
"Ah," the Phantom muttered, still wrathful. After a moment, he asked, very gently, "Why are so pensive, my dear Christine, with your fist to your lips like that? I cannot bear to see you unhappy."
Christine bit back a scathing reply and blinked back her tears. "Is not the moon beautiful tonight? I swear, I shan't see a more beautiful thing in my life, save for your Don Juan Triumphant." It wasn't true. At that moment she never wanted to see the night sky again. She hated lying. It rebelled against her nature, her beliefs, and everything her father had taught her. But if she didn't, what would become of her? Sometimes, Christine hated herself for lying and then rationalizing it. It made her feel so dark and un-clean.
"You may open the window, then."
Christine did so, and tried her best not to let her hands tremble too visibly. She felt taut, worn out, strung out, as if at any moment she would burst into unsteady tears and cry and cry until she didn't have the energy to do so any more.
The moon, through a haze of tears, seemed a far more benevolent and sorrowful figure then before. And the stars did not seem to mock her, but seemed, instead, to be the tears of the angels, sparkling brightly in the darkness and reflecting her own misery.
Christine tried her hardest to distract herself. Images of sunlight first came to mind. She concentrated on them.
Silverware gleaming as they were placed on Mama Valerius's dining room table in the morning.
Sunlight making the waves sparkle as they crashed against the beach.
Her scarf, a streak of ruby, filtering the sunlight, but not dimming the glitter of the waves.
A boy, hair catching the light and richly embroidered coat gleaming, diving into the sparkle of the waves, swimming, then holding up her scarf triumphantly, the scarf a deep, poppy- red, and his hair a dull gold.
Christine tried quickly to think of something else, lest tears plummet down her cheeks and call attention to her grief.
Dappled shadows being strewn on the ground as the sunlight streamed through the trees.
The stone bench, back in her father's old house, warm from the sunlight, making it a pleasant place to rest.
Standing on the road, the sun warming her hair, as another hand warmed hers, and a thought of an even warmer nature coloring her cheeks.
A kiss on her trembling hand.
"Mademoiselle, I shall never forget you!"
No! She mustn't think of things like that. It just made her all the more miserable. She leaned her head against the side of the carriage, and let the hood of her cloak hide her face.
Her soul raged against God. 'Why? Why torment me thus? I was getting used to my captivity until You showed me Raoul! Why, oh God, why?'
The answer came to her sooner then she would have imagined. Perhaps she was not meant to do this: to be a deceitful, lying creature, a denizen of the night with a haunted phantom as a consort. Perhaps she was meant to live in the light, to have the sun scatter freckles across her nose and cheeks, and have her petticoats warmed by sunlight. Perhaps she was meant, once again, to see the sun rise, or the highlight of leaves on the trees, or the glitter of waves in the ocean. Was she only there, with Erik, in that dark labyrinth, so she could appreciate the sun even more?
This thought comforted her as much as it made her want to weep. That God could be so compassionate, and so terrible at the same time seemed a conflicting, confusing thing. Christine wept, silently, into one of her gloves and the wall of the carriage, pretending to be examining the moon more closely.
Her heart felt lighter though, then it had in what felt like years. Though she still wept, her lips curled into a little smile.
She began to even pity Erik. What if he had never been meant to run up grassy hillsides to try and embrace the sunrise? How miserable he must be, to sulk in this darkness, when the light held such joy.
A thought struck Christine, as her tears dried in the starlight. The sunlight was meaningless without someone to share it with.
As much as she pitied Erik, and tried to love him as God wished her to love her enemies, she could never reside with him forever. The thought of Raoul grew brighter in her mind.
No, what Christine hated most was not the darkness... but lacking someone to share the light with her.