TITLE: Thoughts Lay Drowning
AUTHOR: Pilla Jeffrey
EMAIL:
CATEGORY: Angst, Drama, Missing Scene/Epilogue, Thoughts, Romance,
PAIRING: Raoul/Christine
SPOILERS: Hopefully you've seen the movie…
RATING: PG-13
CONTENT WARNINGS: sexual references
SUMMARY: In the ALW movie, Raoul is on his way to rescue Christine when he falls into a trap that will send him to a watery grave. Close to death, he relives the incidents that defined his relationship with Christine as he finds the strength to save himself.
STATUS: Work In Progress
ARCHIVE: anywhere else, ask.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Phantom in any of its incarnations. Yeah, doesn't that suck?
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is for my friend Pam who inspired me to write for Raoul and Christine after all our friends decided she belonged with the Phantom and my friend Beckie who betaed it. It is an attempt to prove that Raoul loved Christine not only purely romantically, but sexually also. (After all, he was a man.) This added definition to their relationship rounds out Raoul as not only the ideal Prince Charming, but the ideal man that includes the sensuality that the Phantom would give without the mass-murdering.

Chapter One: The Trap/The Rooftop

Cold bubbles swam fast out of his breath. How simple it would be, right here and right now. He could let the Phantom win; he could let the grid press him down. He could drown. This could be the end, and Christine…

No. She didn't love him. Raoul's breath tightened in his already clenched chest as he saw her and him. As he held her onstage, her face was warm and softened with lust. The smile on her lips was nothing she had ever given him; no, to Raoul Christine was the proper operatic princess. She was as innocent as her sixteen years had given her. Yet in the arms of the Phantom—The Angel of Music, she called him—she awakened.

Raoul was not a boy by any regards. Yes, he was perhaps as pure as Christine appeared to be, but he was also a man. A man who looked at Christine with love, firstly, but also desire. Desire for her touch, her kiss.

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He remembered standing on the roof of the Opera Populaire with her. It was freezing; snow was falling. Certainly it wasn't as cold as their nights together in Sweden, but for a French evening that early in the fall the snow came as a strange sight. She was shivering. At the time, all he wanted to do was to calm her and prove to her that the Opera Ghost did not exist. Yes, there had been strange accidents, but what man could maneuver in an Opera House filled with hundreds of people, unseen by anyone but the new lead soprano?

She wouldn't stop shaking. Even in her reverie, where she stood almost convinced the Phantom was the key to her soul, she would not stop shaking. Slowly, she walked away from him, her breath ragged. "Christine…" his voice wavered, then grew stronger. "Christine…"

He almost thought he heard an echo of his words, but it was most likely the wind. He could not get scared when Christine needed him so badly. He touched her shoulder, which instinctively shifted, but she didn't move. Gently, he moved her towards him, pulling her into his body. She responded quietly, falling into his embrace. From her quivering shoulders, his hands moved along her arms, thinking to hold her closer. Her skin was cold and covered with goosebumps. "Christine, you're freezing." She didn't speak, only half-nodded. Raoul turned her to face him, moving to hold her hands and warm them within his own. Her left hand held onto his desperately, but in her right hand was a rose, tied in black ribbon. How odd. He hadn't seen it before.

As Raoul led Christine away from the edge of the roof, her eyes met his. She had returned to him. The rose—wherever it had been from—dropped from her hand and the now-unoccupied fingers intertwined with his own. He breathed in slowly, unsure of what to say, but at the same time knowing exactly what needed to be said. "No more talk of darkness," he said softly, gazing into her eyes. The chocolate circles flickered, mesmerized by his own.

He promised her everything. If she was with him, he would do everything for her. He reached out, cupping her pale face in his warm hand, feeling the warmth of his fingertips drenching into her icy skin. He could feel her warming away from the terrors of the night before him.

"Say you love me," she whispered. He was surprised by the anxiety in her voice. In his mind, it was too clear that he loved her to think any other way. He wanted to cut her off, make her know how all of him was hers, but she continued. When Christine ever needed to say something she felt was important, she would get an air about her that perhaps only God could stop. "All I want is freedom," she added, walking away from him, pondering this as if it were life or death. She turned to face him, a smile crossing her face, lighting up her rosy cheeks. "And you, always beside me."

He could not explain the sensation that lit up his soul at that very moment. It was warm. Glowing. Vibrant. It was like nothing he had felt before. To her words, he could only respond to pull her back to him, holding her in his embrace. One hand rested on her stomach, the other caught in her curls. His voice became warm in her ear as he said—he could not remember what he said because that was the moment Christine had taken his hand from her hair across her chest and pulled him closer to her, pressing herself into him with such care and love that—

He sharply inhaled, unable to look at Christine. She was so innocent and here he was, thinking the darkest thoughts about her, about how she might feel against him if her cloak and dirtied dress weren't in the way. He shouldn't think of her that way. It would scare her to know that he was not the innocent boy she remembered.

Banishing the thoughts away, he had kissed the side of her forehead, turning her to face him. She smiled at him, but a troubled look suddenly clouded her features. "Say you love me," she whispered again, looking at him desperately.

"You know I do." She glittered at his response, her lips curled in the most delicate smile. Her lips did not turn purple in the cold, but a bright red. He leaned closer to her, and once she didn't move away, secured his hand behind her head. Her breath came a little shallower as he leaned in closer. Her eyes closed. "Love me," she quietly asked, nearly singing, and he did. He spun her to the heavens and then pulled her back to him in order to kiss her once more. His angel had chosen him and he would not let go.