The Things We Do in Love's Mad Embrace
The handsome, young Viscomte de Chagny had resembled a drowned rat when he'd been fished out of the torture chamber by the Phantom of the Opera. Now, the handsome, young Viscomte de Chagny resembled a dead man as he was chained in the Communist's Cellar by the Phantom of the Opera.
He was able to shrug off the chloroform's effects only after he was shackled, and the first sound that greeted his ears was the smooth voice of the Angel of Music.
"Ah, I see you are awake, monsieur. I trust you will be quite comfortable here." The terrible creature stepped back, holding up his lantern to admire his work. "If you'll excuse me, I must be off."
Raoul still felt drugged, and he could not quite sit up straight. He blinked in the dim light, the two yellow stars of the Opera Ghost's eyes staring down at him with triumphant malice.
"You see," continued the Trap Door Lover, "I hate to keep my wife waiting," emphasizing the words, loving the sound of them. His wife. His. His and his alone. He was loved for his sake. He relished in the sound of the words, in the feel, in the meaning.
Monsieur le Viscomte was finally able to wake up enough to give a startled cry. "No!" he shouted into the darkness as Erik began to walk away. "No, for God's sake, leave me here, you monster, but set Christine free!"
Angrily, the Phantom of the Opera wheeled. "She stays with me because she loves me! She made the choice of her own free will!"
"You forced her hand!"
"I don't have time for this," he snarled, walking away, the red glow of the lantern slowly fading into obscurity.
Monsieur de Chagny was completely alone.
For the first half hour of his solitude, Monsieur Raoul was still too dazed and drugged to do anything. And so, he merely sat there, chained to the wall, thinking nothing. After this time of solitude came the realization that Christine had and or would marry that beast in order to save the thousands of people in and around the Paris Opera, but also, to save him as well.
With this realization, her curled into a ball and began to shiver. After another thirty minutes of this, he realized he would never see his beloved again, and with that, he began to cry. For at least a full quarter of an hour, he was wracked with terrible sobs, the kind a broken heart makes.
After this, the Viscomte de Chagny began to take control of his senses again, and tried to wonder where he was. This proved unsuccessful, for he could not see so much as an inch in front of his face. This prompted him to believe he was in the lowest cellar of the Opera, where no one ever went, and nothing was ever kept, and no light ever got into; Where no one could here his desperate cries for help.
Still, not quite certain if that was true or not, he did begin to cry for help. He shouted and yelled and begged and pleaded until he was hoarse. And that was how he passed the second quarter of the hour.
It had been an hour and a half since Raoul de Chagny had seen the smallest ray of light.
He noted that he could hear the constant drip, drip, dripping of water; the cellar was dank, moldy, cold. He noted that he was sitting in a puddle, and that he could do little to move out of it. Chained to the wall, his three positions were standing, sitting, or laying down, none of them entirely comfortable, the laying least of all. He was becoming soaked to the skin again, and shivered.
Next, he began to wonder what had become of the Persian. Was he chained here too? No, he would have answered Raoul's cry were that the case. Maybe he couldn't? Maybe he was gagged, or still asleep.
Or maybe he was already dead.
Monsieur le Viscomte decided that if the daroga was still alive, there were two possibilities: the first was that, since he had saved the Angel of Music's life, the Opera Ghost had released him. The second was that he was chained in a completely different part of the cellar.
Privately, Monsieur de Chagny hoped for the first option. He had faith in the Persian, and knew that he would not rest until he'd either freed Christine, or rescued Monsieur Raoul from his prison. Or, preferably, both.
It was in this contemplation that the third quarter of the hour passed.
The Viscomte de Chagny then began to worry about his brother, Monsieur le Comte. Surely Monsieur de Chagny would help his youngest sibling, his only, his beloved, brother? Raoul also had faith in Monsieur Philippe, and knew that at that precise moment, there were search parties under way for him. He had less hope of them finding him then of the daroga finding him, but hope was hope.
Poor Monsieur le Viscomte did not know that his brother was dead. What was worse, at the hands of his mortal enemy; the Trap Door Lover.
And that was how the final quarter of the hour was spent.
It had been two hours since Monsieur de Chagny had seen another living being.
After that, Monsieur Raoul's thoughts were his own, and time had lost it's hold. He did not know how long it was until his stomach started to complain of hunger. He could not guess how long it had taken his mouth to complain of thirst. His body began to hurt, and demanded from him the tender care it needed. He would have gladly supplied it, but he was currently preoccupied.
He was shackled to a wall.
Maybe it was seconds. Maybe it was hours. Maybe it was weeks. Maybe it was years. But in however long that time frame was, Raoul de Chagny began to go mad. Rats hissed at him, scurrying over him, nibbling at his clothes. He was soaked to the bone, a cough had begun in his lungs. Every so often, he was racked by terrible, soul wrenching sobs that he could not stop, and each time, the name he moaned was the same: "Christine, Christine, Christine!"
At times, he seemed to believe he was talking to her, for he said to the darkness "I love you, and I'm sorry that I've failed you." At times, his delirious mind thought it caught the sight of a torch, of a search party, or, worst of all, two yellow dots of light, just too far to reach, mocking him, laughing at him. To these dots, he shouted curses and oaths of the worst sort, followed by mournful cries to release Christine.
The insane have the remarkable ability to sense when their moment is at hand, and it is, at that precise time, that they regain their sanity. So it was with Raoul, for he began to think back, and remembered the torture chamber; Christine had tried to take her life, from what he understood, by cracking her skull against the wall. How much sturdier were the wet, stone walls around him? How much easier would it be for him to end this nightmare?
With that, Monsieur le Viscomte rose and stood, placing his hands against the solid, wet wall, and paused.
He was about to take his own life, which meant, he knew, that all hope was lost. Christine would be forever bound to that monster, and Monsieur de Chagny's life was pointless without her. "Christine, Christine!" he moaned. "Forgive me, oh please forgive me! I did it all for you, and all for nothing. I love you, oh I love you! I will love you till the end of time!"
Saying a prayer and taking a breath, Monsieur Raoul was just about to strike his head against the stone, when he heard a noise.
It was the sound of a firm footstep.
At first, he told himself it was nothing, but still, he waited, and listened. The sound continued, it grew louder.
Something was coming this way.
He wheeled from the wall, a sudden and savage look upon his face. In the darkness, a red light was glowing, the first light he'd seen in hours. And near that light, two yellow stars were glowing.
"Erik," he snarled into the darkness. "Come here, you demon, show yourself! You cur, you devil! Release her, for God's sake, release her!" Still the steps came this way, and remained at the same tempo, going neither faster nor slower. And still, the Viscomte de Chagny hurled abuses into the darkness, daring, challenging, damning the Phantom of the Opera.
Finally, the Angel of Music reached Raoul de Chagny , the lantern held next to his head, his ugly face unmasked. But something about him made Raoul go silent. A profound, desolate air hung about the Opera Ghost; he had been weeping.
"She loves you, doesn't she?" he asked shakily, his voice threatening to be wracked by sobs once more. Monsieur le Viscomte noted that the lantern in the Trap Door Lover's hand was shaking.
Slowly, stunned, Monsieur de Chagny replied "Yes."
"And you love her?"
"If I ever know that you harmed a hair of her golden head, I'll kill you myself," Erik seethed.
"I would rather die than harm Christine," promised Monsieur Raoul.
"Good." With that, the Phantom of the Opera set his lantern down, and whisked out a key from his pocket. In one swift moment, he had taken away the Viscomte de Chagny's shackles; he stood a free man.
"Your love makes a passionate plea."