Disclaimer: I do not own any characters etc. You know the drill.
Raoul could hear singing. He smiled slightly and pushed open a door a crack to see Christine stood by a window, a beautiful smile on her face as she sang.
He adored listening to her sing. She must have heard him, for she turned and blushed slightly.
"You were listening?"
"Of course." He smiled, crossing to her. She smiled back and shrugged.
"I don't know why I carry on. No one would ever listen to me now."
"I listen." He reminded her and she laughed.
"Raoul, my darling, you can't tell a good note from a bad one!"
"I know you still sing like an angel."
The smile on her face faded slightly. She sighed and glanced out of the window. Raoul frowned.
"You still think of him?"
"Sometimes… I know I shouldn't. Not now that I am married." She smiled sweetly at him and he felt the love he had for her swell in his chest, taking her hand.
"Don't you think it is time to say goodbye?" Raoul asked.
Christine didn't reply for a moment. And then she said,
"Yes. I should have said goodbye a long time ago."
"Raoul, please don't be angry with me. I just… I can't stop thinking of him! Why can't I just let him go? After all he did…"
"I know… I know." He said, gathering her into his arms. She looked up at him, almost tearfully.
"You aren't angry?"
He was. But not at her. Not at his dear Little Lotte. The only anger he felt was for him. The creature that haunted her dreams and nightmares. And yet… he knew that there was something he did not know. Something about the man living beneath the Opera Populaire that was hidden from him. Something Christine would never tell him.
There was something of her that he didn't know either. Whenever he asked for details of what had happened that night, when she had vanished from her dressing room, she simply smiled vaguely and changed the subject. There was a part of her that was hidden away from him and no matter how hard he tried to reach it, it was always just out of his reach.
Christine looked down at their joined hands.
"I thought that once we had left the Opera Populaire I would be able to forget him. That I would be able to say goodbye. But I can't, Raoul."
Raoul stared down at her pretty face. She shouldn't have to suffer this. Shouldn't have to go through such pain.
"Then don't. Don't say goodbye yet. Wait until you are ready." He said. Christine looked at him, surprised.
"You mean it?"
"Of course. I know… I know that there is a part of you that is still with him. And that it is an important part. But I won't force you to say goodbye. Not until you are ready."
She gazed at him and he bent his head to kiss her. And then he stepped away with a smile.
"Carry on singing."
Christine smiled and turned back to the window, beginning her song again. Raoul settled into a chair, a sense of inexplicable sorrow coming over him.
She would never be completely his. He knew that much. He would never be able to call her completely his own. The knowledge that he had to share her with… with him did not make him happy. That she would never be his beloved, but their beloved.
But Raoul did not voice this aloud. They were happy enough. And one day, maybe she would be able to say goodbye.
A/N: Yes, I am an E/C shipper, but I also rather like Raoul. And I thought it'd be interesting to see if I could write something like this. I know it's pointlessly short, but it was one of those nagging ideas that will drive you to insanity until you write it. Please review!
Lotsa luv 'n' huggles