Disclaimer: Please don't sue. I don't own POTO... All I own is an overactive imagination.
Summary: ErikRaoul slash fic.
Warning(s): homosexual content, slash!
A/N: It's been a while but you know… So, I reread it and realized I had meant to add an epilogue to it. So here it is.
Thanks for everyone who still read it. Who's still interested in me writing even though it takes me forever to update. I'm too absentminded sometimes.
Oh yeah, and sorry but this chapter is tame and there are no graphic scenes. There could've been but that'd be one helluva wrap-up of a story if I did. I think that last chapter tapped me out. Everything has closure here and a happy ending; it's a completely different tone from the rest of the story because I couldn't just leave everyone unhappy. I'm a sucker in that way. It's why I don't kill characters off. Maybe I'll do it one day but I can't help but give everyone a happy ending since life as it is sucks already.
Pass Time: Epilogue o-
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Last Time: Well, everyone made it out of Pass Time alive. That's got to be something. Did you see the fact that Christine wasn't dead coming? I hope not. I of course had the urge to kill her but then thought I shouldn't for the sake of well… torturing her. So, this is just a wrap up of what happened with all the loose ends I left you with before.
Raoul sat in his box watching the stage as the performers practiced. It wasn't that great of a view like from Box 3 or more recently Box 5, but it was still a place he could watch unnoticed. He sometimes had to squint to see faces but he could care less. It was not as though he was paying that close of attention to their practice. His mind was wandering, wandering over the past two months.
Two months. He had had two months of bliss and he couldn't have felt more relaxed. Relieved. Maybe it was both.
That fateful night in which he and Erik consummated their love for each other seemed so long ago. He remembered the shock of finding out that Christine was still alive. Sure, he had felt uncertain about killing her but keeping her alive also meant that she'd be meddling in their business and now that she'd seen both him and Erik alive, there'd be hell to pay.
Erik simply wrapped his arms around Raoul and told him to not worry about it. Of course, Raoul had refused to be patronized and demanded that Erik tell him exactly what he had planned. Once again, Erik tried to pull the blonde down onto the bed to lie down but Raoul stubbornly sat up and crossed his arms waiting for an answer.
"I want to know what exactly happened and what you have planned," Raoul stated firmly.
Erik considered his demand for a second before leaning forward so that his breath mingled with Raoul's and stated a little huskily, "If you still have enough energy left to think about Christine, maybe we should be putting that mouth to better use."
Raoul blushed hotly at the comment but before he could reply, Erik had captured his lips and pushed him onto the bed.
Then, they continued to do many things that Raoul currently tried to keep off his mind for his trousers were becoming exceedingly tight simply from the thought. He shifted in his seat a bit before leaning his arms and head on the railing of the balcony. He sighed deeply.
He had been relaxed. He had been happy and content. He had been many things these past two months. The opera house had started to feel like home really. With Madame Giry and Henri always worrying about him, it definitely had the whole family package. Raoul couldn't help but feel the embarrassment all over again from the thought of Madame Giry and Henri. He still wasn't over that particular ordeal.
Unfortunately, for Raoul and Erik, the Madame Giry's and Henri's concern had also been in place that night. Erik had managed to tire Raoul enough so that he had fallen asleep with no more questions or thoughts of Christine, but he also had tired himself out. So, in the early hours of the morning, the noises that should have alarmed Erik of intruders went completely unnoticed.
However, when Madame Giry gruffly cleared her throat and called Erik's name, he awoke. Still groggy and unbelievably comfortable with Raoul practically draped on him, he glared at the intruders and felt around for his Punjab lasso, not caring one bit of who they were. He just knew he would kill them for waking him up from his slumber and from the best night of his life. He paused in his search when he saw some old man and Madame Giry who was averting her eyes.
Henri also cleared his throat but pointed to the crumpled blanket that had gathered at the bottom of the foot of the bed. Erik looked down at his naked body and then at Raoul's, considered momentarily about not bothering to do anything at all before reaching down to pull the blanket up to cover them. His movements woke Raoul. He settled back onto the bed with his arm possessively around the Vicomte. Raoul rubbed his eyes and smiled radiantly at Erik who couldn't help but return a small smile of his own. Raoul leaned up kissing Erik gently on the lips murmuring a 'good morning.' Erik's hand found its way onto Raoul's neck and forced the kiss to be something deeper. It was only when Raoul started to moan and the blanket began to make its way toward the bottom of the bed again did both Madame Giry and Henri think Erik was really going to continue to ignore them and just have his way with the Vicomte. They both yelled out at the same time.
Madame Giry shouted, "Erik," both in reproach and shock.
While Henri yelled, "Raoul," in just pure shock.
Upon hearing his name, Raoul pulled away quickly from the kiss and Erik reluctantly allowed it. Finally realizing that they had an audience, Raoul pulled the blanket up to his neck and stared in horror at his butler and Madame Giry. Both looked a bit flustered. He spared a glance at Erik only to glare at him. Raoul had wanted to be invisible at that moment or maybe die. Anything was better than what had just happened. He again glared at Erik. He had a sneaking suspicion that the other man had known all about their audience. Raoul did pause for a single moment to congratulate himself for making some advancement with the Phantom since Erik wasn't bothering to hide behind his mask in front of the others. He was also silently thanking that the others didn't shy away from the deformity.
That was only for a single moment though. Raoul noticed the smug look on his face and switched back to glaring immediately. He looked back at the two uncertainly but noticed that although they had been a bit flustered they didn't look one bit surprised that Raoul and Erik were in bed together. An uncomfortable silence fell and Raoul couldn't help but fidget. He didn't know what to say. He had just been caught making out with the Phantom. What does one say after doing that? 'So, how has your evening been?' As if he could just start with such petty small talk.
Erik was the one to break the silence. With his arm still wrapped possessively around Raoul's shoulders, he nonchalantly asked, "So, how has your evening been?"
Raoul stared at him in awe. He fleetingly wondered if Erik could somehow read his mind. Raoul had to admit though that he didn't think he could have pulled off saying that sentence so calmly.
Madame Giry glared at him. "Wipe that smug look off of your face."
Raoul feared that Erik would react badly to being ordered around but he relaxed when he felt Erik simply shrug.
It hadn't been a very good idea to upset Madame Giry though. As punishment for injuring Christine and further aggravating their own injuries, Madame Giry and Henri banded together and declared both of them to be under house arrest. Well, not so much house arrest as confined to their rooms. Erik had not been pleased either but Madame Giry had threatened to call the police and tell them exactly what had happened. Then she mentioned something about keeping his promise. Erik nodded his head rather grudgingly before commenting that he was the only person to know the way to drop Raoul off.
Once in the room however, Erik feigned dizziness and managed to convince both Henri and Madame Giry the best course of action was to leave them both in the room. Luckily, both Madame Giry and Henri were called out at that moment so they had to agree. Madame Giry did leave some disturbing parting news before she closed the door though. Something to the effect that if either of them 'over exerted' themselves again she would make certain they would no longer be able to exert anything ever again.
Raoul shuddered at the thought. It had been enough though. It had been enough to be in the same room, to sleep in the same bed, to be able to touch each other whenever they wanted to. It would be another month before Madame Giry would deem both of them well enough to retract her last threat. Raoul didn't think he could better define the phrase sexual tension before that though.
The first few days, Raoul remembered with amusement, they hadn't known what to say to each other. It was one thing to chase after the other and be physical with one another, but when it came to talking, they hadn't known what to speak about at all. One of their first discussions was the organ. They still hadn't figured out what had happened to it. Raoul had sheepishly admitted he did not even notice the organ was missing because he had been too focused on attacking Christine. Erik had grinned a bit and Raoul realized he could care less what embarrassing things he told just as long as Erik would smile. It made him look unbearably handsome.
Raoul hadn't liked the silence too much so he'd been the first one to recount the major things that had happened from his perspective since Don Juan Triumphant and even discussed what had happened before that. Erik had been more reticent but given the fact that they had to spend a whole month sharing the same room with nothing else to do forced him to open up as well. Raoul knew it had been difficult for Erik but he was happy knowing that Erik thought Raoul was someone he could trust and make an effort for. It had been enlightening and wonderful. Raoul was glad he had decided to stay in Paris.
The start of the second month had been exciting. Raoul had discovered many things that month. He discovered that sex on a balcony though exciting because of the possibility of being caught was also somewhat uncomfortable. He discovered that there were a lot of good places in the opera house hidden from view. Most importantly, he discovered that the one really good thing about having a leg injury was that no one questioned the way you walked. They would however wonder when you wouldn't sit down. Raoul grinned at the thought. It had all been extremely embarrassing at the time but at least now, he could look back and laugh at himself.
Raoul immediately sobered though.
He would be going home today. Home. He was home in his opinion. He hadn't left the opera house since he had first arrived and now he wasn't sure if he wanted to leave.
He was overjoyed that he would no longer have to continue hiding in the shadows of the Opera Populaire. He had yet to be found out by anyone else in the opera house. Christine had been scared into silence, though technically she couldn't have spoken had she wanted to. Raoul realized that she had changed drastically in the past two months. She had returned to being part of the ballet corps. The new girl the managers had hired took her place as a principal singer. At first, Christine had been angry but with both Meg's and Robert's support, she realized she could be happy without being the star. Christine was reminding him more and more of the little girl he had known as a child, youthful, energetic, kind, and a dreamer. It was comforting to know that that girl still existed. Robert had also kept his silence. He stayed by Christine's side and Raoul could tell he was falling in love. He could tell Christine was too and Raoul found out that he was actually glad Erik hadn't killed her.
His mind drifted back towards his estate. He wasn't certain that the estate was really home anymore. He would have to leave Erik at the opera house unless he found a way to convince him to go. He was too afraid of the answer if he asked the question. So, he hadn't asked. He'd been avoiding Erik the past few days knowing that their separation was inevitable. The opera was Erik's life. Erik wouldn't be able to listen to the opera whenever he wanted. He couldn't be a part of it if he were to leave. Raoul couldn't ask him to leave it all behind. Raoul resolved himself to thinking that at least he could visit the Opera Populaire whenever he wanted. Erik wouldn't be able to go out very much and Raoul didn't want to inconvenience him.
Raoul was shocked out of his musings when a pair of arms encircled him. Immediately knowing it was Erik, he leaned into the touch.
"What are you doing back here?" Erik whispered.
Raoul smiled at the possessive way Erik still held him. "Just thinking." Raoul knew it was now or never.
"It's almost dark and you're leaving tonight."
Raoul nodded. Erik didn't seem affected at all by his departure. "Do you care?"
Erik released Raoul from his embrace and moved so that they were face to face.
Raoul elaborated seeing that Erik wasn't going to answer, "Do you care that I'm leaving?"
Erik scoffed. Raoul knew he should be used to Erik's attitude by now since he was nothing if not blunt, but it still didn't answer his question. Erik noticing this replied, "I don't care where you live, Raoul." Raoul saddened at his reply, but Erik continued, "Distance means nothing to me. I would find my way to you no matter what."
Raoul nodded and blushed at his words. So many times did he wish to have the eloquence and poet's vocabulary to express what he felt toward Erik, but he was always found lacking. Erik always had the perfect words to make Raoul blush and stun him into silence. It was embarrassing in his opinion. He wasn't supposed to act like some swooning, blushing maiden.
Erik pulled the blonde through the opera house to the back where Madame Giry, Henri, and a carriage awaited. It was only when Erik was sure no one else was around that he released Raoul's hand.
Madame Giry walked forward and wished the Vicomte good luck. Raoul nodded politely and thanked her for all the effort she had put into keeping him safe. Not to mention the fact that besides all the work she had at the opera house she had also helped in the transport of all of the items Raoul had managed to accrue in the time that had passed.
Raoul grudgingly got into the carriage. He looked to see if Erik would wave good-bye to him, but he was speaking to Madame Giry. The blonde couldn't help but sulk when he saw her give his Erik a hug. Looking at Henri, he wondered why they weren't leaving yet.
Erik approached the carriage and climbed in. Seeing the confusion on Raoul's face, he stated matter-of-factly, "I'm coming to escort you to your new home."
The relief that coursed through Raoul's veins made him angry at himself. He couldn't help but think he was pathetic wanting the smallest amount of time because he was too childish to be apart from his love. It wasn't as though they'd never see each other again, but he had been spoiled and couldn't help it.
As they rode up to his estate, he couldn't quite see the exterior for it was rather dark, but many of the windows glowed brightly.
Henri explained, "I will be giving you a rather brief tour so that you know the major rooms. In the morning, you will be able to fully explore the new layout."
Raoul was hardly paying any attention to what he was saying. He just knew this was it. This was their parting moment.
With Henri in the lead, the three walked through the entrance of the new house. Henri was explaining about the decorations and the small facets. Erik was only partially listening because most of his attention was on the blonde whose mind seemed to be completely elsewhere. Raoul dutifully followed behind trying to gather all of his courage to ask Erik to stay with him. He barely realized they were making their way through the household.
Walking up the stairs, Henri showed them the room that would be Raoul's study. Erik, seeing an opportunity, gestured to Henri to leave them for a moment.
Left alone in his new study, Raoul finally realized the tour had been halted. He looked at Erik in confusion. "Where'd Henri go?"
Erik ignored the question and asked bluntly, "What's the matter? You haven't been paying any attention at all."
Raoul blushed hotly; he averted his eyes and finally looked at the room. It was fully furnished with a large wooden desk. A whole wall was filled with an assortment of books and papers. There was a fireplace and several other chairs.
He tried to lie even though he knew it was pointless, "What makes you think anything is wrong?"
Erik didn't bother to justify the question with an answer. He pointedly stared at Raoul. Raoul stared back. The image was all wrong though. During the past two months, Erik hadn't been the Phantom, though Raoul was very aware of the flurry of notes that had gone to the managers and Robert, which provided a cover story for Christine's accident. It was obvious no one would believe it, but nothing would be confirmed either. Raoul fondly remembered the hysteria of the aftershocks of the new incident. They finally realized why the new girl had hired and Raoul had wondered how long Erik had planned his revenge to have provided Christine's replacement already.
Erik had been Erik, which meant he had refrained from wearing the mask. Now though, having to move outside of the room and outside of the familiar shadows of the opera house, Erik wore his porcelain mask. Said man stood expectantly for Raoul to respond. The blonde moved forward and into his love's personal space. Reaching up, Erik remained motionless as Raoul removed the mask. He gently placed it on the nearby side table.
The fact that no one else in the world alive or dead had ever been given the liberty to do such an action so casually besides himself touched Raoul. Everyday he thought he loved Erik with everything he had, everything that made him who he was, but there were moments like these when he felt that it wasn't enough. He wasn't enough for the man that had put so much trust in him. Cupping Erik's face with his hands, Raoul leaned forward to give him a kiss.
Erik met him halfway.
When they separated, Erik pulled Raoul closer his arms settling around Raoul's waist. Breathing in Raoul's scent, he kissed the blonde's temple and whispered in his ear, "You can't distract me that easily."
Raoul smiled and buried his face in the juncture between Erik's neck and shoulder. This was perfection. If he could stay like this forever, he would be content.
However, Erik pushed him away so that he could see his face. Still staring at his chest, Raoul blurted out, "I want you here."
Somehow, Erik contained his mirth, but he smiled indulgently at the man in his arms. "Well, Raoul. This room in particular? I'm sure we can arrange something. That desk looks sturdy, but keep in mind we must pace ourselves. There are many rooms to christen actually."
It took a moment to realize of what Erik was speaking, and when it dawned on him, he managed to blush and pout at the same time. He was however a bit ashamed that part of the reason he was blushing was because the statement had aroused him. He was thankful that Erik had given them some distance or else he'd definitely have been discovered. Raoul tried to calm himself before attempting a second time to voice his thoughts, "I don't want to be apart from you. Ever." He paused trying to make Erik understand completely. "The mere idea of us living apart makes me sad, and I know you'd be giving up everything you've worked for and loved: the Opera Populaire, your home, and the opera itself. But… but, I wanted to ask you if you'd stay here to live with me."
Raoul couldn't read the expression on Erik's face. He knew Erik was purposely keeping a poker face but Raoul didn't know whether it was because Erik didn't know how to put him down gently or to accept. Erik sighed and kissed Raoul so quickly he didn't have time to react.
"I take it this is also the reason you've been avoiding me these past few days?" Raoul turned his head bashfully. "And pretended to be asleep every evening and gone every morning?" Raoul nodded.
Erik smiled, a sight Raoul always marveled at since he so rarely genuinely smiled so fully. He continued, "All my belongings have already been transferred here and I have been formally introduced to your employees… maskless."
Raoul stared at him in shock. "I think I'm going to need a moment." He could see the amusement in Erik's eyes clearly.
His things were already here? Introduced to everyone that lived and worked in this house? It was true that he didn't actually need any introductions since every staff member had been allowed entrance to his room in the opera house. It wasn't as though he had been trying to hide Erik, but to be formally introduced meant they accepted him. It was better than anything Raoul could ever hope for. He had feared how the people who probably knew him best would respond to his love, but it was okay.
Still stuck in his musings, he was shaken out of them when Erik kissed him on the cheek. "I've told you this many times before. I'm not letting you go ever again."
The blonde still couldn't believe that everything had been going so well for him. "But what about your operas and the opera house?"
"The only thing in my life that I've worked for and loved that has ever mattered has been you." Erik paused dramatically, letting his words sink in. "Do you understand now?"
Raoul knew he was grinning like an idiot, but the joy he felt was overflowing. Raoul considered letting Erik have his way with him right there, but before Raoul could do anything else, Henri cleared his throat.
Erik glared at the butler, but he was disappointed to see he was still unaffected by it. It disturbingly reminded him of the immunity Madame Giry had with him.
"I'll let you two look at the other rooms tomorrow at your leisure. Before I leave you, there's one room I must show you. You may not be able to find it by yourselves."
Raoul looked to Erik for clarification but saw he was just as confused as him. Both started to move towards the door but Henri moved further into the room. They watched as Henri scanned the book titles from the library.
"Looking for some nighttime reading?" Erik asked caustically.
Finally choosing a book, Henri pulled on it, but it only came out partially. The wall lurched and moved to reveal a passageway. "Dante's Inferno." Henri stated.
Erik took this new development in stride, "How appropriate."
He directed a stunned yet excited Raoul forward as Henri took a candle and entered the darkness. Both men took in their surroundings. The passageway was bland, the walls simple, sturdy stones. They were walking down numerous flights of stairs.
"A basement?" Raoul thought aloud.
"You have the capability to lock the passageways, which I'll show you tomorrow."
"Passageways?" Erik asked.
Henri responded, "There are three other passages: one leading to the kitchen, one leading directly to the outside, and one to the master bedroom."
Erik raised an eyebrow. He could almost respect Raoul's butler now. Reaching the bottom of the stairs finally, Erik immediately edited that thought to definitely respecting Henri.
The trio entered a large, spacious cavern, which had many candles already lit. The organ Raoul had given to Erik sat against one wall but it had been improved. The pipes now climbed up a significant amount of wall behind it. To one side, there were blank canvasses and paints. In another portion sat other artistic mediums. Erik was actually stunned into a mental pause. Raoul looked around amazed. His gaze fell on Erik face and he could only stare in awe himself. His eyes met Henri's and he hoped that all the gratitude he felt towards making Erik this happy could be conveyed. Henri nodded and moved toward a different passageway from which they had come.
He paused before leaving, "We had heard rumors that you were an artistic genius."
Henri's voice finally broke Erik out of his amazement. Henri pointed to another passageway that was closest to the organ. "That leads to the bedroom. A rock protrudes a foot away from the last step."
With those last words, Henri left.
Erik walked towards the organ slowly with Raoul following closely behind. It was larger than his last one and he could already imagine the sounds that would come forth from it. He let his fingers glide gently over the keys.
Raoul commented offhandedly, "So that's where the organ had gone."
Erik stopped walking and just stared at instrument. Raoul was pleased to see a comfortable chair beside the organ and sat down watching Erik's face. Erik placed his hand reverently on the wood. "Did you plan this?"
Raoul sighed, "If only I had. I'm just grateful to my staff."
The other man nodded absently.
Raoul grinned, "Are you going to play or just stand there and just touch it?"
Erik looked away from the organ to glare and step menacingly at Raoul. Before Raoul could react, Erik had grabbed him and thrown him over his shoulder. He moved towards the stairs that Henri had indicated lead to the master bedroom.
"Erik!" Raoul shouted indignantly. He struggled half-heartedly not wanting them to fall down the stairs. "Put me down. What are you doing?"
Erik ignored him completely.
"Put me down!"
Erik finally complied and the Vicomte was haphazardly tossed onto a bed. Raoul looked around and realized that this was their bedroom.
Erik grinned. "Do you want me here, too?"
Raoul crossed his arms and sat up. "You haven't played the organ for many months. What are you doing?"
Erik moved onto the bed and pinned Raoul onto his back. "What am I doing?"
Raoul nodded, knowing he was walking into a trap.
"Well, someone's been avoiding me these past four days. The correct question would be 'who am I doing?' And I would answer, you." Erik closed the short distance between them and kissed Raoul thoroughly.
When Henri entered the kitchen, the other staff members stood there waiting.
One commented flippantly, "Now we'll never be able to sleep with his playing that organ."
Henri frowned disappointedly at her.
She raised her hands in a placating gesture, "I don't care as long as the Vicomte is happy, but still…"
Henri smiled before saying, "I think we'll have quiet at least tonight."
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Okay, I think that's it. That's my cookie for you! Summer is almost ending and I feel sad so I had to write some POTO. I won't miss the weather so much, but I will miss the overall nostalgic affect summer has on me.