Disclaimer: Please don't sue. I don't own POTO. All I own is an overactive imagination.

Summary: Just a tweak on the ending. ErikRaoul Raoul realizes the music can lead his heart in the right direction (haha, that sounded corny to me!) It isn't too bad (IMHO).

Warning(s): Homosexual content :o) sigh, doesn't that phrase just get you grin --

Pairing(s): ErikRaoul

This is the same chapter but I put it in one story now because it was annoying that it was separate. I didn't change anything but this comment. Hope you guys will review again cuz it makes me want to write more… okay I lie, listening to the soundtrack makes me want to write more, but your reviews help me know that someone actually appreciates it. Thanks!

A/N: I absolutely love ErikRaoul pairing, but can never quite find enough of it (as if there is such a thing). Yeah, I want a happy ending, but it just doesn't seem to be working out, so it might be one-sided unless I can think of something. I can just make something atrociously unlikely and spontaneous, but I'll just have to see how it goes.

I've never seen the movie (and I thoroughly regret it, though I will definitely buy it and watch it numerous times) and I've only really read the first chapter of the book. I've seen it on stage once (which was completely awesome), and I listen to it, all the time, since forever, it's the only thing on my mp3 player, both the 2004 version as well as the original London cast singing it. (I even learned to play some of it on the piano)




By: Lucifer Rosemaunt


Raoul wasn't sure if he was dazed because of almost dying or because he had just seen Christine kiss the Opera Ghost. He was numb, but only because he could only feel one thing and he couldn't quite place it.

"You kissed him," he stated. He had been trying to make it sound accusing, but it had just come out as a statement. That kiss had won them their freedom. He had been ready and willing to die just moments before and here he was about to get on a boat to freedom.

"I need to go back," Christine replied. Raoul blinked owlishly. He was certain that he must have lost more oxygen than he realized for Christine just said she wanted to go back. Go back to him, the feeling grew stronger. "I will return shortly."

He wasn't sure if that was supposed to put him at ease. Raoul wanted to reply that he was not going to wait. However, she had basically saved his life and waiting would certainly be a good gesture in response. He had followed Madame Giry down to the depths of the Opera Populaire's cellar in hopes of saving Christine's life, in hopes of satiating his curiosity, but mostly in hopes of obtaining what he desired. He knew that if the Opera Ghost truly loved Christine, he would never hurt her. The phantom had tutored her in singing and was the only reason Christine obtained her leading role. He had been far from worried about her safety. He knew that he would fight for her if she needed him to, it was necessary for a gentleman to do so. However, he had needed to see this ghost, this phantom for himself. A closer look at someone he had heard so much about and knew so little at the same time.

Raoul was a man who loved music. Loved it because it was something he could lose himself in, forget about the world around him and just let the melodies and rhythms take him away. Music opened his mind to understand life better, to understand himself better. It was the music that lead him to become infatuated with Christine, but it was also the music that made him realize it wasn't love. It was childhood crushes, nothing more. It was the music that made him feel most alive. That was the main reason he invested in the Opera House. It was the main reason he could not seem to stay away.

Don Juan Triumphant had made him realize something about himself that he had yet to really come to terms with. When he fell in love with the music, he had fallen in love with the composer. Music is the window to a person's thoughts and emotions and Don Juan Triumphant, the little that had been able to be shown, made Raoul feel like he knew the Phantom, and knew him intimately. He couldn't believe that he didn't see it before. Didn't see that his love for Christine was the result of the love of her voice. A voice that would not even hold a candle in comparison to the one who taught her. Sitting in Box 5, Raoul noticed immediately when Piangi had ceased to be the lead. Who would not be able to tell the difference? The strong tenor that resonated through his whole body, told him that Christine's Angel of Music had disposed of Piangi. Angel of Music, how appropriate, was the only thought that passed through his head, so entranced by the music. He had been caught by the ghost's voice and was more than willing to remain so, but she had to unmask him. He had not gasped or shied away as everyone else had, it was a disfigurement, but he had been expecting it. No one who could be that brilliant could in turn be perfect as well. Raoul had always known the balance was there. He had been told he was handsome, but no where near as brilliant, while the phantom was brilliant and no where near as handsome. He was handsome on the side that was not disfigured. Raoul could just imagine what he should have looked like. With a face like that and his talent, the phantom could have had anyone he wanted, even himself, Raoul admitted.

Standing by the boat, waiting for his supposed fiancé to return, he couldn't help but grimace at the thought of having to marry someone who could cast away a person after he had done so much for her. The Phantom of the Opera had done everything for her and she repaid him with a denial and a betrayal. Staring blankly into the water, he hears her returning and realizes he wants nothing to do with her. Fickle as she is.

He scoffs at the mere idea of a secret engagement. Scoffs at the idea that she could call an angel a monster in the same breath. Scoffs at the idea that he thought he could have spent his life with her.

"Raoul," Christine snaps him out of his reverie, "I'm ready to go." She holds her hand out for him to take.

Raoul gently grasps her hand and helps her into the boat. Handing her the pole to hold, he moves to get on as well, but at the last moment, pushes Christine and the boat as hard as he can far into the lake. He registers her look of utter shock and relishes the moment.

So, she is betrayed in turn.

He turns around without even making certain she is able to cross safely. Her life is no longer of his concern. He finally realizes what he had been feeling earlier. He felt jealousy. Jealousy when she was able to kiss the Phantom and he was not. Jealous that all the phantom's affections were being wasted on such a fickle girl – one that took and took as much as she could and left you with nothing. Jealous that songs were not being written for him, by that brilliant mind and even more passionate soul.

He turned towards the path that Christine had just come from and arrived in time to see the Phantom about to leave.

Feeling his throat dry considerable, he barely managed a, "Wait," to stop him.

The Phantom turned around and glared as soon as he saw who it was. Looking toward the Punjab lasso that was a mere arm's length away, he turned back to Raoul. He said dangerously low, "Come to gloat? Come to make certain the monster is killed?"

Raoul could only stare. Stare in complete awe as that passion was finally directed toward him. Even earlier when his life was at the Phantom's fingertips, the man had barely spared him a glance. Barely tore his gaze away from his precious Christine.

Seeing that he was not getting a response, the Phantom's anger rose, as did his voice, "Did I not tell you to leave? I let you free. Just go. I will not be so kind again."

Raoul saw the sadness in the Opera Ghost's eyes and knew he could never compare to her, but he would speak his mind before he did the noble thing. He would at least force answers.

The Phantom stared at the blonde before him. He was an enigma, this creature of light. The blonde hair so different from Christine's brown caught the meager light in his lair and appeared to create a halo around him. Of course she would fall in love with him, he thought to himself.

The first question that Raoul truly needed to know, as he saw the Phantom stalk toward him, "What's your name?" He asked barely above a whisper. The closer the man got, the more Raoul's heart constricted within his chest. Someone who he could never have was so close. So close, yet emotionally so far. He was certain that he was hideous in comparison to Christine. She received affection everywhere she went, while people were attracted to his wealth, his title.

The Phantom paused for a moment, shocked at the question that had come from the boy. Figuring that he had nothing to lose, since he had already lost it all but a few minutes ago, he answered, "Erik."

"Erik," Raoul let the name wash over him, let it settle where his heart beat sporadically. So the Angel of Music had a name, "Erik."

Said man felt shivers run down his spine when he heard his name whispered with such reverence from those lips. Lips he was suddenly so fascinated with that he could not look elsewhere. He forgot that this was his enemy, his rival. He forgot that Raoul should be currently stealing away from his dungeon, his life, and that he should be planning his marriage to Christine. When the boy said his name, Erik could only stand and watch those perfect lips form the word.

Erik bit his bottom lip in an effort to force himself to concentrate. He became angry, because anger was an emotion he could handle, it was an emotion that wasn't as confusing. "Did I not tell you to leave? Go!" He yelled in the Vicomte de Chagny's face. Yet the boy did not flinch. Just stared into his eyes as if trying to search for answers there. Search for reasons. Erik had no reason. He glared harder.

Raoul was trying to decide what his next question would be, but his body was having a strong reaction to the heat he felt radiating off of Erik. He grinned softly as even in his mind the name brought butterflies to his stomach.

Erik, so close, could not miss the grin on the Vicomte's face. Could not tear his eyes away from those lips again. He bit his lip harder and tasted the copper of his blood. He had to turn away, but he couldn't. How could the boy grin in the face of a monster? He did not have his mask on, hadn't since the scene of Don Juan Triumphant. How could he look upon his face when his beloved could barely do so?

Raoul had finally decided on his next question. He was determined to keep asking questions until Erik (he grinned a little wider) forcibly stopped him from doing so, but he knew he was short for time. So, he needed to know the truth, needed to know if he was only fooling himself, "Why do you love Christine? Why not...?"

Erik caught Raoul as he lurched forward. Someone had shot him. Erik looked down at the blood slowly staining the shirt and knew he had to get away. He knew it was not a deep wound because the blood was not spreading quickly. With Raoul he would be slowed considerably, barely taking a moment to consider it, he hoisted Raoul up into his arms and ran for the nearest tunnel. Surprisingly Raoul was light and to his astonishment, Erik thought to ask him about his eating habits when he awoke. Making his way through the labyrinthine passageways, Erik did not stop until he was behind many walls, trap doors, and passageways. Light from the outside filtered through a crack, signaling that if anyone did find them, they would have an alternative exit. It was a reprieve from the deep darkness that Erik had practically been running in. Far from where the police would ever be able to make it, no matter how lucky they were. Too many secret doors and walls. It was a maze and many would die trying to find their way out if they were not careful. Even the way out was through a tunnel.

Placing Raoul's body gently onto the floor, he checked his shoulder and for the first time in many years thanked God for something. Thanked Him that Raoul had merely been grazed. Thanked that in the darkness the police had been a terrible shot. He had fallen forward and lost consciousness because of shock. The Vicomte was still barely out of his youth, he would not know the extent of real pain. A sword and a gunshot wound were different; the shock of feeling such force of a bullet would shock any system. He did not even see it coming.

Tearing a piece of his shirt off, he wrapped Raoul's shoulder to help stop the bleeding, though it had started to clot already. He did not want to admit to himself that he was worried. If it had only been a graze, then Raoul shouldn't be unconscious still. Hurriedly, he checked to see if Raoul had sustained any other injury. None. Erik was not certain if he should be relieved or even more worried. No other injuries meant that he was unconscious for some other reason.

Leaning against the tunnel wall, he gently placed Raoul's head upon his lap as he watched the light steadily increase. It was probably the closest thing to watching the sunrise he had experienced in a long while. He tried to clear his mind. Too many things to wonder about. He wondered why he had taken the Vicomte with him. He could have just as easily left him behind; certainly they would not have been stupid enough to think he was the phantom. He wondered why he could barely concentrate when he was standing so close to him. He wondered why he hadn't killed him on first sight upon his return. Most of all he wondered what he was about to ask before he had been shot. Why had he loved Christine? And why not, why not what?

Erik began to doze off, feeling the events finally catch up with him.

Raoul awoke slowly and painfully. He found that Erik's hand rest gently upon his chest, as if to make certain his heart was still beating, while the other hand was tangled in his hair, as if he had been trying to smooth it out for him. He sighed, thankful for this dream. He was certain that he must be dreaming or he must have died. He closed his eyes just to feel the phantom's hands more clearly, memorizing the feel of it. He didn't know heaven could be this dark, but then again, his angel was one of darkness and any moment spent with him was worth it. However, he still hurt, which was a sign against his being dead. The pain in his shoulder hurt less than it did earlier, dulled by the innate cold of the tunnels, but still throbbed with each beat of his heart.

He couldn't suppress the urge to giggle. Maybe it was the tension, or maybe he had simply gone insane, because for the first time in his life, the Vicomte de Chagny giggled. He giggled because of the whole situation. His head was lying on the lap of his current interest and ex-rival for the affections of a girl he no longer desired. While some part of him wanted to scream in frustration, another wanted to cry, so he let the other side that just giggled at the insanity of it all.

Erik woke at the sound of Raoul's initial sigh. He didn't move, wanting to relish the moment before any other questions bothered him. He would have to face reality eventually, but until then he would pretend to be asleep. He was about to continue pretending when he heard something he suspiciously thought was a giggle come from the boy on his lap.

"Did you?" The question died on his lips when he saw the blush creep onto Raoul's face. It was quite endearing and Erik had to look away since all he really needed to do was bend a little lower to kiss those lips.

Unfortunately for Raoul, he didn't have anywhere to turn. He could not turn away from Erik for then he would be on his injured shoulder and if he turned the other way, well then, he would have come face to... waist with Erik. He couldn't stand much more embarrassment. Raoul finally wondered what he was doing in a semi-dark tunnel with the Phantom of the Opera. Not that he minded any one bit. So, he just lay there waiting for Erik to make the first move.

Erik on the other hand did not know what to do next. They could not yet return to his home, for he was certain they would not have cleared out by this time. The Opera House had probably burned down to the ground so there was no need to worry about entrances from there. He needed to know what to do with the blonde. He knew they couldn't just stay underground. In fact, he did not even know why Raoul had returned in the first place. Returned when he had the opportunity to escape with Christine. Erik mused for a moment, it was one of the first times he had truly thought of Christine. She had been the farthest from his mind for one of the possibly longest times.

He realized detachedly that slowly the images he once held close to him of her were being replaced by the young man sharing his darkness with no complaint. The young man who saw his face and did not flinch, did not flinch to his anger or his wrath.

Christine had flinched, looked away each time and yet was drawn back. He wondered about his affections toward her. He thought he had loved her, but how could he love her and yet forget her so easily. It shouldn't be possible. He remembered her response to him the first time he revealed anger, anger of the Vicomte's attentions. She had flattered him and then asked him to grant her his glory. Was that all that he was to her? She had never once asked to see him until he became angered, until she feared that she might lose her tutor. Everything she had done was to benefit herself in some way, and he realized with a twinge of regret that he had not noticed. He had been obsessed, not in love. Love would have been understanding if not blind to his looks. Love would always remember.

Yet, here was someone who did not care about his looks. Raoul was at the complete mercy of an Angel of Darkness and he did not fear at all. He did not fear what Erik could do with him injured, but merely waited for the outcome.

Erik would have to initiate some conversation, some open rapport in order to figure out the outcome. For the first time, he did not have a plan. So, he would obtain the information he so badly wanted. Receive answer to the questions that plagued his mind, "What were you about to ask before you were shot?"

Raoul finally looked toward his saviour. He knew the question would be asked, but he didn't want it to be answered in this way. He struggled to sit up, but the pain in his shoulder was too much, "Can you help me up, please?"

Erik stared at him thoughtfully for a moment before answering, "No."

"What?" Raoul looked at him in shock. It was a simple request. This conversation was not one he was going to have literally lying down.

"I said no. Not only will you hurt your shoulder more, but there is not enough room," Erik almost patted himself on the back for the lie. His shoulder would have been absolutely fine, and there was more than enough space for him to sit elsewhere. However, the feel of the boy under his fingertips was a bit intoxicating and he was not about to relinquish his hold. His hands had not moved, so Erik merely applied a little pressure when he felt the blonde trying to get up again.

"Are you going to answer my question?" Erik asked again when Raoul finally stopped moving. Raoul was sulking, and Erik thought it cute.

Looking around, he knew it was hopeless to maintain his dignity if he answered that question while lying on Erik's lap. He knew there was no other way, as the Phantom he was quite persistent, and Raoul knew as Erik he would be just as persistent.

"I was going to ask you," he spared a glance at Erik before turning to face away to the wall, "Why do you love Christine? Why not me?"

They both froze. Raoul because he feared the answer, and Erik, well because of the same reason. He had learned that he didn't love Christine. So that would be easy to answer. However, the second question took him by surprise. Why hadn't he fallen in love with the Vicomte? Easy answer with not so easy repercussions. He had. He had fallen in love with the Vicomte every time they clashed. Had he not been obsessed with Christine, he knew he would have gone through great lengths to make Raoul his. Had the circumstances been different, Christine would never have been involved. Life would have been easier, he supposed.

How could he not fall in love? He was everything. But he did have him now. He had the object of his desire so close, and life wasn't that easy. He couldn't answer that question. He just knew that he couldn't. They would never work. Never. If he loved him, wouldn't life be easier? He couldn't have fallen in love. No. That's impossible. He was only asking for more pain if he thought otherwise. He hated the boy. Erik felt the familiar anger overtake his senses. Some part of him knew what he was about to do was wrong, but he forced that feeling down. The boy was probably playing tricks on him. He denied having ever thought of loving the boy.

Raoul had been watching the emotions flit across Erik's face. At first he was hopeful at what he saw, but the more that he watched, the less he wanted to see. Erik didn't love him. He would tell him so. Raoul was more than a little hurt when Erik pulled his hands off of him as if he had been burned. So his fate was sealed. A life without passion, a life without love, a life without music.

"Get out," Erik said pushing Raoul off his lap.

Raoul cried out in pain. He had landed on his shoulder. He struggled to stand up, and had to fight a wave of dizziness that overcame him.

Erik almost moved to help him, but he wouldn't allow the boy to trick him, wouldn't allow it because he was just lying to himself. He felt nothing for him, nothing.

Raoul had known it was hopeless in the beginning and wondered at the cruelty of Erik giving him some hope only to quash it so harshly. "Where," he gasped slightly, bent over trying to catch his breath, "where is the exit?" He closed his eyes as he felt the familiar burning of tears. He wouldn't let him see him like this, broken.

But it was too late, Erik saw. He saw and memorized one last time the sadness that emanated from Raoul's posture, tears, that came from his very soul. No, he would not allow him in, he would not let the boy become too much for him. However, he also knew that he would see Raoul just like this every time he thought of him, every time he thought of what happiness could have been like; he would remember he destroyed it himself. He couldn't destroy both their lives though. I hate him. I hate him. The mantra repeated in his head, even as he felt tears beginning to form.

Erik brushed past Raoul without a second glance and opened the door that would lead to Raoul's freedom.

"Follow the light down the path, it will take you to your world," Erik left the suddenly too small space and Raoul alone. He opened a door from what once was Raoul had thought was a wall and just as quickly shut it again.

Raoul was left alone with only one way to go, out. He would have felt along the wall to see if he could follow, but Erik had made it clear he didn't want him.

Raoul placed a hand on the wall knowing he would never find the latch to open it. He leaned on the boundary that separate him and his love forever and let the tears fall. Let them fall for everything he had gained and then lost in such a short period of time. A lifetime he lived that lasted barely a day. He felt his heart slowly break. He couldn't breathe, could barely move. Finally, he let himself out. Closed the trap door behind him and walked toward the sunlight.

Erik cursed himself. He leaned against the door he had just left and let the sobs wrack his whole body. When Christine had left that final time, he was sad, but he could go on. He was already up and leaving when Raoul had entered. With Raoul gone, he just wanted to relish in the pain. He deserved to feel this horribly. He couldn't move, he couldn't do anything but picture Raoul. Picture him leaving him forever.

So he did the only thing he could do. He just lay there staring into the darkness while tears slowly dropped to the cold unfeeling floor.


A/N: Damn, I guess no happy ending there. Of Course there's bound to be a continuation. No way in hell, I'm leaving them apart, however that one may take a while to write (since I skipped doing homework and work to write this one). Sorry for any grammatical errors, didn't check it too diligently.

Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!