A/N: -sighs- I have never been more emotionally drained by a chapter. It was difficult enough watching this scene in the movie, but getting under Erik's skin during this part is just excruciating. Sorry it took so long to post, but can you blame me for putting it off for a little bit? On the upside, if you don't love him yet— or at least appreciate the pain he went through in order to secure the happiness of the woman he loved— I hope this chapter will bring to light both the best and the worst of Erik's character. I did my best!
A note: As this is done from Erik's point of view, a lot of times he's in denial about how he's actually feeling (or the fact that he's CRYING, the poor baby), but I think you guys will be able to figure out what's REALLY going on. ;)
Any shred of conscience or rationale that might have dared to speak up was smothered and effectively silenced from that point on. It was almost too easy to succumb to violence and raw cynicism, allowing the smoldering ashes of my temper to flare to life in a brilliant, searing crescendo. Before an audience of hundreds Christine had sent me plummeting into the core of Hell. She had made her choice; now it was my move.
And I was not taking any more chances.
My lips snagged halfway between a smirk and a sneer as I caught sight of the breathless Vicomte, clinging to the grate of the portcullis, staring helplessly at Christine.
Wait! I think, my dear, we have a guest!
A horrified gasp escaped her as she took delayed notice of the boy, drenched in sewer water and sweat and his own blood. My smirk only stretched into a grin as I strode casually down to the shore, Christine fast on my heels.
"Raoul!" she cried, running towards him. At the water's edge she suddenly halted, as if an invisible barrier separated them. Unwittingly she raised one of her pale hands toward him, her slender fingers extended as if to breach the gap between them.
Satisfied that she would go no further, I continued to talk to the boy as if he were an old family friend who had paid me a surprise visit at teatime.
This is, indeed, an unparalleled delight!
I had rather hoped that you would come!
And now my wish comes true;
You have truly made my night!
To complete the utter mockery of the situation, I came up behind his fiancée and nonchalantly wrapped an arm about her waist, as if it were the most natural gesture in the world. When Christine began to writhe and attempt to wrench away from my grasp I only dug my fingers into her waist, desperate to maintain the image of effortless control.
"Let me go!" she begged quietly.
Suppressing a sigh, I released her, maintaining an arrogant, jaded expression to make up for the momentary lapse in my façade. Fortunately, the ignorant little Vicomte chose that moment to belt a pathetic command while he stood helpless behind metal bars.
Free her! Do what you like, only free her!
Have you no pity?
It was all I could do to keep from laughing outright. Evidently it hadn't occurred to him that "doing what I liked" involved keeping Christine at my side for the rest of our lives. At the moment, it was the only thing that mattered to me. However, I didn't want to completely shatter his pride just yet. Actually, his plea was almost… endearing. Almost shaking from the effort of restraining sardonic laughter, I raised an eyebrow in amusement and tilted my head like a spaniel, as if studying a strange creature beneath a microscope.
Your lover makes a passionate plea! I noted to Christine, every word dripping with sarcasm.
My chest swelled with pride as her cheeks colored, and she mumbled urgently to him, Please, Raoul, it's useless…
Evidently she knew nothing of the Vicomte's character. Half-amused and half-irritated by this pointless show of idiocy, I looked from Christine to the boy, waiting for someone to say something intelligent instead of these mindless, fruitless declarations of puppy love and delusions of grandeur. I had already suffered through enough of this on the rooftop to last me two lifetimes.
I love her! Does that mean nothing? I love her!
Irritation won out. Curling my fingers into fists, I turned my back to the sickening display in disgust. I trembled with rage at hearing those words from his lips; how dare he pretend to know the depths, the heartache, the blissful torment of love? What had he ever done for Christine? What had he sacrificed for her happiness? Damn it all, he had done nothing to deserve her, nothing! And yet I still played the role of the villain.
Show some compassion!
I snapped then, wheeling about to face him. Teeth bared like a cornered animal, I roared the horrible truth that had burdened my soul for decades without an appropriate outlet:
THE WORLD SHOWED NO COMPASSION TO ME!
Christine jolted backwards, taken by surprise by the sudden break in my composure. Her hand flew to the curve of her heaving breast as if the gesture could calm the pounding heart beneath it.
Christine, Christine! Let me see her!
"Erik, please!" she hissed under her breath, though I could barely hear her beneath the whine that was the spoiled little Vicomte's voice.
Fortunately, that brief clip of my beloved's voice was enough to drag me back into the confines of pretended sanity. I took a deep breath and unclenched my fists, settling my aching fingers instead on the release valve to the portcullis. Amusing as it was to torment my arch enemy with the cushion of distance and cold metal separating us, I was done toying with my prey. Just a few more steps and he would finally realize the cost of his so-called valiance.
Be my guest, sir!
As I moved toward the Vicomte, slinking smoothly forward like a cat closing in on its prey, I made sure to press down with my thumb on the end of the lever before letting go. Praying that the ten second time-release on the portcullis wouldn't fail me now, I took my precious time, counting silently in my head as I walked.
Monsieur, I bid you welcome
Did you think that I would harm her?
My honey-coated words masked deadly poison, just as my smile masked a tortured soul lusting for blood, love, or both. To my utter delight, the boy proved to be more of a coward than I had given him credit for; he only took a few steps inside my lair before stopping cold, intimidated by my closeness. His wary blue eyes flickered between me and Christine as he hesitated, trying to decide how best to move forward.
That fraction of a second of hesitation was all I needed to regain the upper hand. I bent down and snatched up the slimy length of rope hidden two feet underwater, tied to the bell that would alert me if anyone other than myself were attempting to cross the lake. My eyes, however, were glued to the portcullis. Right on cue, it began to lower again, trapping the Vicomte in the monster's lair…
Why would I make her pay
For the sins which are YOURS?
The Vicomte, in all his idiocy, turned his back to me for the briefest of moments at the sound of metal scraping against metal. It was all the time it took for the rope to hiss through the air and snag around his upper arms and torso. Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard Christine's strangled gasp, as if I had tightened the rope around her, but it was drowned out by the roar of blood in my ears. A maniacal grin split my face as I barreled forward, slamming the boy against the lowered portcullis. The old wound on his arm where my sword had sliced neatly through flesh and muscle split open again, staining his shirt a dark crimson. Adrenaline coursed through my veins at the sight of his blood, and suddenly I became the raging, murderous beast everyone believed me to be. With brutal, harsh movements I bound his wrists to the grate, pulling the ropes so tightly that they dug into his flesh. His helpless cries of agony only fueled me on, for I knew his precious fiancée could hear them too…
Order your fine horses now!
Raise up your hand to the level of your eyes!
Nothing can save you now—
Except, perhaps, Christine…
I spun about to face her once I was sure the Vicomte was incapable of wriggling free. For the first time in my life, my heart did not break at the sight of her horrified, tear-stained face. Let her experience the bitter taste of betrayal! I realized now that she was no innocent child; she was capable of destroying souls, as she had so accurately displayed only a few minutes prior. Now she would face the full consequences of her rash decision!
Start a new life with me!
Buy his freedom with your love!
Refuse me and you send your lover to his death!
This is the choice;
THIS IS THE POINT OF NO RETURN!
I told myself that the only reason my voice wavered was because my vocal chords were unused to raucous screaming. Certainly it had nothing to do with the onslaught of tears squeezing the back of my throat. After all, I didn't care that Christine stood trembling before me, incredulity and heartbreak shining from her beautiful brown eyes.
The tears I might have shed for your dark fate
Grow cold and turn to tears of HATE!
I squeezed my eyes shut in denial. I didn't care. I—didn't—care. She could hate me. I didn't care. Why should she be different? God, couldn't she see? I didn't …
A sob hitched in my chest, but I disguised it as a growl as I brushed past her, grabbing the Punjab lasso from the back of a chair.
You're weak! my mind screamed. One teary glance and you bend to her every whim? The bloody Vicomte has more nerve than you! Get a grip! Don't let her win. You cannot let her break you!
For once, I listened to it. Squaring my shoulders, I coiled the rope around my forearm and marched determinedly over to Christine. Though the Vicomte was still attempting to serenade her (I cursed under my breath for not having thought to gag him), she was focused entirely on me, her small hands balled at her sides. I half expected her to stamp her foot at me like a child throwing a temper tantrum.
Christine, forgive me, please forgive me!
I did it all for you and all for nothing!
She interrupted the Vicomte mid-verse, acting as if he had disappeared from the situation entirely. Her tone took me by surprise; the words even more so…
Farewell my fallen idol and false friend!
We had such hopes and now those hopes are shattered!
Had I not been quaking with half-feigned rage, I might have smirked triumphantly; this was exactly what I wanted. The Vicomte was merely bait; I didn't want him to be a contributing force to the opposite side of the argument. Just for imagery's sake, I wanted him to writhe and moan in pain, perhaps shoot Christine a pleading glance. All of this was for show, really. I had no intention of killing the boy, much as I would have enjoyed it. It wouldn't be necessary. A few bruising blows to his handsome face, perhaps a dash of blood here and there, and Christine would surrender. My bride-to-be's greatest asset and fatal flaw would be her compassion. I had known upon plummeting through the trap door that someone would follow us down to my lair; but whether it had been Madame Giry, little Meg, Raoul, or a stagehand, I knew Christine would sooner devote the rest of her life to me than allow an ounce of pain to be inflicted on another person on her behalf.
She was a fool.
The petty, angry words she spat at me had very little effect on my resolve; I simply held the Punjab up at her eye level for clear inspection before biting out a dismissive response.
Too late for turning back
Too late for prayers and useless pity!
I then promptly turned to finish this little power struggle. We had been battling with words and music for months now, and nothing beneficial had come to it. Crass as it was, brute force seemed to be the last, and the most effective, alternative.
Of all the people alive, I better than any understood the power a well-dealt blow could exercise over a human being. But even worse was strangulation… feeling every last nerve in one's body go numb from oxygen loss before falling into darkness. There was something utterly humiliating— dehumanizing, almost— about being strangled to death.
It seemed a rather appropriate punishment for my dear friend the Vicomte, even if I revoked it for Christine's sake. An eye for an eye…
But at the moment I was much more interested in cutting out the boy's tongue. Even in the face of death, he continued that infernal whining!
Say you love him and my life is over!
It took a great deal of restraint not to dislocate his jaw. Instead I slid the noose around his neck and slipped the end of the rope through a grate about a meter above his head. I refrained from cutting off his airway only because… my hands were wet, and they slipped on the rope. At least, that was the lie I told myself as I burned under Christine's pleading gaze.
Past all hope of cries for help,
No point in fighting!
For either way you choose, you cannot win!
The Vicomte's voice rose to match mine in both volume and ardor:
For either way you choose, he has to win!
I was panting hard, a sheen of sweat glistening on my forehead and trickling into my eyes and down my cheeks; I certainly wasn't crying… there was nothing to cry about… the boy himself had reiterated my very point! I had won! He had already admitted defeat. There was nothing left for Christine to do but give in.
Trying desperately to gain control over my wavering voice (strained vocal chords, I still insisted!), I stepped toward Christine, holding the end of the rope just tight enough to tilt the Vicomte's head up without cutting off his air supply.
So do you end your days with me?
Or do you send him to his GRAVE?
I gave a harsh tug on the rope, grinning maniacally when the boy gagged and sputtered. When he continued with his exasperating protestations with the very little breathing room I allowed him, I tottered on the border of self-control, half-wanting to snap his neck on the spot and be done with it.
Why make her lie to you to save me?
In a simple answer, I tugged and shut him up. Hard.
Past the point of no return, the final threshold!
His life is now the prize which you must earn!
When he was actually silent for a moment, allowing Christine to address me without interruption, I had to glance over my shoulder to make sure he was still alive. Just to be certain I didn't accidentally kill my hostage before the proper time, I gave him a little bit of slack, praying that he would hold his tongue. My patience had run out.
Angel of Music, who deserves this?
Why do you curse mercy?
Much as I tried to deny it— tried to block out her heartbroken voice— the memories associated with that particular tune began to unravel the seams at the edges of my soul.
I hardly heard the boy when he sang out bravely,
For pity's sake, Christine, say no!
Don't throw your life away for my sake!
… I fought so hard to free you!
This time I managed to ignore him; my undivided attention was focused on Christine, and she on me. Our gazes locked, speaking more than words— more than even music— could ever communicate. Suddenly my voice softened of its own accord, transitioning from that of a fuming monster to the familiar tone of her Angel of Music.
You've passed the point of no return…
Christine's voice, too, lowered to little more than a melancholic whisper as a stream of tears trickled down her porcelain cheek.
Angel of Music… you deceived me.
"I gave you my mind blindly," she breathed, every syllable drenched with incredulity and hurt.
Her words were a knife through my chest, ripping mercilessly at the façade I had fought so hard to maintain. It was one thing to acknowledge for myself what I had been doing all these years— lying to her, molding her to fit MY expectations, using her talent as an outlet to the world I had never been able to reach— but to hear the accusation from Christine's trembling lips was…
Irrelevant! My mind snapped doggedly, coming to the rescue of my waning resolve. Don't you dare fall for this! Backbone, man! You're so very close! Stand firm now. Make it up to her later. If you falter now, the boy wins!
I clutched to those words for dear life, and somehow managed to growl a deadly command at her even as my heart swelled with agony.
"You try my patience. Make—your—choice." Just for emphasis, I gave another violent tug on the rope, producing another strangled choke from the Vicomte. I took no pleasure from it, as I had before. Christine's words had reopened wounds I did not realize I'd had, and now my energy, my lifeblood, seemed to be slowly draining from me, leaving me cold, empty, and numb. I didn't want to kill that boy. I didn't want to force Christine into my arms with blackmail or a bribe.
I wanted to be loved.
Despite my best efforts, that desperation, that insuppressible human desire fueled by years of loneliness, must have shone in my eyes. And quite suddenly, the anger dissolved from Christine's eyes, replaced by a staggering combination of emotions so potent that words could never describe it. A fresh wave of tears escaped from those bottomless brown eyes as she stared deeply into mine, drawing in shuddering breaths. It seemed an eternity that we stood there, simply staring into the bared soul of the other. But all too soon the moment was broken as she shifted her gaze over to Raoul, and an entirely new emotion glazed her eyes.
Curiosity overpowered my characteristic flare of temper when Christine's lips formed the three words I had waited a lifetime to hear: "I love you." Why, then, did she look as if she were about to stab him in the back? Guilt was etched into every line of her beautiful face, but as she returned her gaze to me, it simply meshed with the countless other emotions chasing themselves through her eyes.
Years upon years of rejection had taught me never to hope; it only made the fall twice as painful. But when Christine began to walk toward me, straight into the icy, obscure water she feared, I could not seem to extinguish the tiny spark of optimism that flared to life within me.
Pitiful creature of darkness,
What kind of life have you known?
I could do nothing but stare incredulously as she drew ever-closer, lost in the intoxicating beauty of her voice. The rest of the lair, including the silent Vicomte, seemed fade from existence as Christine came within reach. I could almost feel the warmth of her skin cutting through the wall of ice that had formed around my heart.
God, give me courage to show you
You are not alone!
A dazzling reflection of light drew my eyes down to her hands just as she slipped the ring on her wedding finger. I hardly had time to draw in a tremulous gasp before her fingers wrapped around the back of my neck, gently pulling my face down to hers. My mouth reacted instinctively to the probing of her lips long before my mind could even begin to process the shock of my first kiss. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once— I was completely vulnerable, helpless and limp in her arms. I had no idea what I was doing, and the decision seemed to be made for me to shyly follow my angel's lead. When Christine's sweet, wet little tongue slid over the seam of my closed lips, I opened them to her impulsively. God, she tasted of Heaven. I groaned softly against her mouth, and she pressed herself closer to me, the fingers of her right hand tangling in my hair as she ran the palm of her left over the twisted flesh of my cheek. Salty tears mingled into the kiss— whether mine or hers we would never know. I wanted to reach up and wipe them away from her soft cheeks, but my arms were like lead, dangling helplessly at my sides. Just as I began to regain some feeling and register the fact that Christine was kissing me, her lips slowed and gradually stopped, and she pulled away gently.
She smiled at me.
It was as if a dam broke, releasing a reservoir of tears. I doubled over, choked gasps somewhere between laughter and sobs escaping my swollen lips. My sweet Christine's hand took hold of my arm, holding me up. Her eyes tried to search mine, but my vision was so blurred with tears that I could hardly see her.
But I could taste her still, and smell the natural perfume that was her skin— that delicious combination of rosebuds, sunshine and soap— clinging to the fabric of my shirt.
Christine had kissed me… not a pity kiss, not a bribe… but a true, deep kiss. She had never been able to lie to me. There was no trace of a lie in the way her lips had molded gently against mine. For a moment I was convinced I had imagined the whole thing. Angels did not kiss Demons…
Monsters were not supposed to touch beauty…
Suddenly the world reappeared around us. The candles seemed to burn hotter than ever before, and the stone gargoyles looked on us with contempt. The water was like ice; even through my tears I could see the goose bumps running the length of Christine's arms. My angel was cold.
Slowly, ever so slowly, my gaze shifted to the limp figure bound to the portcullis. His head hung forward, tears of despair and disbelief dripping from his handsome cheekbones. In that moment, bathed in the iridescent light dancing up from the water, he almost looked like Christ, bravely facing death and betrayal in order to save the one he loved…
Mon Dieu, my conscience whispered incredulously, You truly are a monster.
And then I knew. The past ten years had been in vain, for I could not keep an Angel of Light bound in Hell. Despite everything I had tried to convince myself over these past few weeks, she could never be happy with me in this cold, dark dungeon… Christine was a creature of sunshine and song. And she was no longer a child in need of the protection of a fantasy creature… a fond bedtime story invented by her father. She was a woman now— a strong, courageous, talented, impossibly beautiful woman.
The Vicomte did not deserve her… but then, neither did I. No man did. But his wealth would afford her a life of luxury and splendor, and he would give her beautiful children to raise to be the beloved stars of society. She would be happy.
For the first time in my life, I gave in. For the longest time I had convinced myself that the only thing that mattered was earning Christine's love. Now I knew better… how could there be anything more important than the happiness of my brilliant young student— the only friend I'd ever had? Suddenly I knew I would give anything… my very life, if necessary… just to see a radiant smile light her face.
So be it.
Somewhere above us, the mob's trampling feet and cries for blood sped up my mind's resolution. They needed to leave, quickly, now, before the mob arrived. Christine had witnessed enough death and destruction for one night.
down this murderer Who is this monster,
He must be found!
Hunt out this animal,
Who runs to ground!
This murdering beast?
Revenge for Piangi!
Revenge for Buquet!
This creature must never go free...
Who is this monster,
Sobs knifed through my chest as I staggered away from her, doubled over in pain. With one hand I clutched to the hideous deformity that had successfully ruined my life, and with the other I gestured to her precious Vicomte.
"Take her," I demanded fiercely, "Forget me. Forget all of this! Leave me alone. Forget all you've seen! Go now— don't let them find you!"
For a brief moment Christine stood uncertainly between us, before the mob's eerie chanting finally seemed to make the decision for her.
long he's preyed on us,
But now we know
The Phantom of the Opera is there,
Deep down below…
I stumbled onto shore, just barely staying on my feet. Through the gaps in my fingers and the tears in my eyes, I watched as Christine lurched over to her fiancé, her little fingers working furiously to free him from the strangling ropes. Habitually I gravitated toward her room, tripping on the steps as I sang out raucously,
Take the boat, swear to me, never to tell
The secret you know of the Angel in Hell
The irony was just too much. A heart-wrenching sob caught in my throat as I screamed desperately at the woman I loved. The sight of her clinging to the recently-freed Vicomte was almost enough to shake my resolve. She needed to leave… now… before I changed my mind…
GO NOW, GO NOW AND LEAVE ME!
And without looking back to make sure she obeyed, I rounded the stone corner and disappeared from view. Only once I was positive she couldn't see me did I collapse, beating my fist on the stone floor until it was scraped raw, while digging the fingernails of my right hand into my deformed flesh, wanting nothing more than to just scrape it all away. If I bled to death, here on the cold ground five stories beneath the opera house, who would ever know or care? It wasn't as if Christine would be waiting up every night for her Angel of Music to come and sing to her. Aside from the occasional nightmare, I was sure she would never think of me again in her life.
The mob was drawing closer. Weary, heartbroken, and hopeless, I wished them a quick journey through this damned labyrinth. Perhaps they would be merciful and grant me a speedy death…
Curling up in a ball, I succumbed to another onslaught of excruciating sobs. My lungs were tired of weeping, but I couldn't help myself. Just for good measure, I slammed my fist into the ground once more. I was startled when, a few feet away, the little monkey music box I had fashioned as a boy began to play a brief snippet of a familiar tune before going silent.
Sniffling miserably, I pushed myself up to my hands and knees with great effort and crawled over to the music box. It seemed an eternity ago that I had set it at Christine's bedside on the first night I had brought her to my lair. My fingers shook as I clamped them weakly on the little golden key and wound it three times.
A gentle tinkling noise filled the air of that godforsaken, desolate little room. I closed my sore eyes, allowing music to seep into my soul as nothing else could. As I had done countless times as a small boy, lonely and cheerless in this dark, cold palace, I began to sing quietly to the familiar tune.
Masquerade, paper faces on parade,
Hide your face so the world will never find you
At first I was sure I was imagining Christine's scent drifting in from the doorway, but when I opened my eyes and looked for myself, my heart stopped in my chest.
She had never looked more angelic than she did in that minute, with tears standing like diamonds in her eyes, her mussed curls cascading like a waterfall down her shoulders, her lips still red from our kiss, her porcelain cheeks stained a light pink. In her alabaster hands she held the wedding ring I had presented to her only a few minutes ago, though now it seemed years.
I don't know why, after all the pain it had earned me, I still dared to hope.
An oppressive silence hung over the two of us for a few seconds, demanding to be broken. Swallowing my tears, I sang to her the only thing left after everything else had been said and done:
Christine, I love you.
My voice broke over every word, but somehow I managed to get it out. The tears that had stood dormant in Christine's eyes suddenly spilled down her cheeks, and above all the emotions held captive in those honey-brown orbs, remorse reigned supreme. I was foolish enough to believe that she had changed her mind… that her drowning sadness was for the pain she had caused me.
When her hands brushed mine, reaching down to pry open my fingers, a part of me screamed to grab her, hold her tight, and never let go. Impulsively my free hand clutched hers as she placed the glistening wedding ring in my palm. Slowly, hesitantly, she walked away, her smooth, soft hand slipping from my palm. I did not cry after her, did not make a move to stop her… simply sat there, still and silent as a statue, watching the retreating back of the love of my life, my muse, and my best friend.
Minutes of incredulous silence ticked by before I finally closed my fingers over the precious gem and climbed to my feet, moving over to the opening in the stone room as if in a trance. Perhaps I was hallucinating, but I could have sworn I heard the couple singing quietly as the boy rowed the gondola toward the Rue Scribe exit… and safety.
Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime,
Say the word and I will follow you,
Share each day with me, each night, each morning…
God, why did she have to turn and look at me? Meters and meters away, I could see the apology in her eyes. It would have been so much easier to hate her for what she had done… to allow the wound of her betrayal to fester and turn my heart into little more than a rotted, cold, hard piece of flesh. But looking into those beloved brown eyes— the same wounded eyes of a little girl, alone in a chapel, praying for an angel— I could do nothing but love her. Even though my heart seared from the effort, I had to send my precious student off with my blessing…
You alone can make my song take flight, I sang to her quietly, knowing the water and stone would carry my whispered voice. Her features crumpled with sobs, and I watched helplessly as she turned away, burying her face in the Vicomte's arm. Only once the gondola turned the corner did I allow rage and despair to consume my senses. I grabbed the nearest solid item— a silver candlestick— and lurched toward the mirrors that had entertained me as a child and reminded me of my inferiority as an adult. Desperate to shatter the reflection of a brokenhearted monster, I reared the candlestick high over my head, and with an agonized scream, brought it crashing into the glass.
It's over now, the music of the night!
Again and again I smashed the candlestick into the mirrors surrounding me, but there were so many… reminders of my failure, of my loss. Finally I reached the last mirror— a secret passage, fashioned as a last-resort escape route. Sweeping the dust cover away, I stared at my hideous reflection for a prolonged moment before purposely dashing it to fragmented slivers. Three strikes were all it took to shatter the glass completely, baring a long, damp tunnel. For a moment I stood on the threshold, panting heavily, with only three options before me: to stay and be slaughtered by the murderous mob; to escape to safety through the tunnel before me; or…
My eyes lingered for a long moment on a piece of sharp, broken glass. It would easily cut through the flesh of my throat, opening a main artery that would allow me to bleed to
death in only a matter of seconds.
A distant splashing and triumphant voices alerted me to the fact that the mob had found the underground lake. It would only be a matter of time before they wandered their way into my lair.
With a broken sigh, and one last glance at the alcove that had become my sanctuary and my home, I dropped the candlestick with a reverberating thud. Shattered glass crunched under my boots as I stepped through the mirror, pulling the dust cover down to hide the exit.
Swallowed in darkness, I trudged on.
A/N: -sighs again- Well, THAT was a real cheerer-upper, wasn't it? Gah, my heart hurts. I think I need to go read some E/C fluff… we're talking cotton balls and bunny rabbits and goose-down pillows here.
So. Now I have to SHAMELESSLY plug for my E/C story, "Evergreen," which could very well be a continuation of this story if you so choose it to be (that wasn't its original intention, mind you, but it works). If you're lusting for a good dose of E/C right about now, I'd LOVE to see my readers from this story carry over. A lot of you already have, and I thank you for your loyalty. –muah-
And please, please, PRETTY PLEASE review for me? If you've been a long-time reader just waiting for the appropriate opportunity to review, TADAA! Here it is! … Or, you know, the epilogue works too… OR BOTH! Yay! I like that idea. :D
The epilogue will be up soon, my loves. Remember, the movie doesn't end with Erik smashing the mirror into pieces.