A/N- This all started while listening to Preisner's 'Requiem for my friend: Lacrimosa," which is one of the most powerful pieces of classical music I have ever heard, so just a nod out to that for the inspiration for this. This was also my attempt to get a handle on Leroux Erik, which is not as easy as it sounds. This takes place the night of her abduction, just after he has sung her to sleep and thus subverted her will to escape.
The darkness of the shadows are playing against the soft light reflected in my cavernous chambers. They flicker together in a combined dance over the face of the woman who is sleeping on my floor, eyes closed against invasions of her mind. She has been lulled to sleep; she would not leave, for the sake of my music. I, who have traveled the world and seen all the exquisite glories it has to offer, have never seen a more beautiful sight.
I would weep in awe of all her splendor if I was not constrained by this mask. Tears would spill through my eyes as I contemplated all her glory, and I would bend down and worship her. Would she not shy away from my touch, then? Even if I sang for her, out poured my heart, gave her my soul, would she not still shy away from me for all my great ugliness? She is light, and I am darkness; I yearn for what I cannot have, yet want it still.
I hold my hand out, contemplating it by the flickering light of the fire. It is pale, long and skeletal, and however useful it may be, it contains no beauty. This hand has killed before, has felt the soft abrasion of catgut against it, then death's contortions and finally nothing. I look at her, at the contrast between life and death. Her hands are soft, and rounded comfortably against her belly as she sleeps.
I moan, softly enough that she does not hear me. I whisper her name like I would that of a goddess, with all the religious reverence that accompanies that thought. Her eyes do not flicker, and she does not look up. She is as beautiful, as still as if she was dead. Death can be beautiful, and she exemplifies this. A requiem is the most beautiful type of music; high, straining, desperate notes seeming to reach to the grave and beyond.
She is life, however, reaching out to embrace everything that I cannot. It is for her alone that I compose Don Juan now, for her alone that I endure the presence of humanity. She twists me, bringing out a wellspring of longings that have been buried for decades.
I am torn between light and darkness, yearning, thirsting for salvation. I am descended into the blackness, too dead to be alive. Trapped, ensnared, shackled and held captive my own sins; there is no hope of liberation. The light burns, shining too radiant... ah, how it burns! She burns me, shining with her light, transcending the chasm that separates me from mankind, transforming my soul.
Tears are springing forth from my eyes now, coming to trail down my cheeks beneath the mask, landing on my fingers, slipping through them. I have been dead for so long that to even contemplate light is a strain. Pain welcomes me as I slide into the familiar mental agony; my mind has revisited the same place enough that I am no longer an unfamiliar visitor.
The fabric of my suit jacket twists beneath my hands as I hear music, organ chords sliding off one another, the high descant of a soprano. It is a requiem my mind creates, the yearning pitches seeming to reach through time and space. It is my requiem, the one that will never be sung. It is too powerful for the human soul to endure.
My face contorts in a horrible twisting too terrible for any other to see. This music is as powerful as my Don Juan; they both are pulled from the raw essence of my soul. This one is a lament, full of grief, while the other is too powerful, too violent. I am grieving my own death, or perhaps my life. This requiem is for me, is written and composed for my death, regardless of the fact that it will never be sung.
"Christine," I whisper raggedly, her name an exhalation of agony. She does not wake. She is the only one who can pull my soul from the abyss, the only one who can heal me. Her beauty could be the salve that would heal my soul, but I am unworthy... She is as blissfully unaware of my pain as an infant would be.
Rocking back and forth, the requiem still echoing painfully in my mind, I reach out a trembling hand. I am on my knees now, sobbing quietly, ensnared in chains of wretchedness. I reach out to her hand, seeking some kind of desperate absolution for my sins.
She stirs in her sleep, body twisting as if in some kind of pain. My breath comes faster now, and all thought is eradicated by the fact that she could be in pain. The urge to kill is strong within me now; strong, and pulsing through my veins, my harried heartbeat echoing in my ears. She should have to suffer nothing, my Christine.
She relaxes then, body sinking into dreams once more. I still hear my requiem, however; peace does not come to me. I have never known a day's peace, ever.
And then, I realize who is singing it, whose voice it is that I hear in my mind, who is singing my funereal dirge with such desperation.
It is Christine.
I strangle a scream that threatens to erupt from my voice, tensing my throat until it is swallowed. I rock back on my knees, succumbing to the white-hot agony in my mind once more. The open grief in her voice threatens to choke me, threatens to overcome me until...
"No," I whisper, the anguish slowly falling to pieces around me, drifting away like fine vapors of mist. Requiems are sung only for the dead, and however cadaverous I may seem, blood still pulses through my veins. My fingers fall away from my head, releasing the pounding pain that the music brought. How little the wealthy know of music, I suddenly think. They come dressed in their finest to come see opera, to see and be seen. They know nothing of passion, of sinking despair, of living in the darkness and then being torn out of it into light so bright it burns; they know nothing of pain...
I do not want to touch her, for I feel that if I do, she will break into pieces; shattered porcelain. My touch burns, in too many ways to describe. She is too beautiful for my ugliness, for the sickness that burns inside of me.
But I will not leave her to lie on the floor. She should lay in the softest of beds, in gentle and content rest. She leaves me no choice, as I gaze down at her seraphic sleeping form.
My hand reaches down to touch her arm, ever-so-gently. She twists from me in order to not feel the coldness of my fingers, and I plea for her forgiveness in a hushed whisper. But then my arms come to rest around her, and I feel her form against mine. She is so light, her weight so petite I never would have imagined! And in the depths of her dreams, she does not turn away from me.
Silently, I enter the Louis-Philippe room and set her down on the plain bed. She sinks into the fabric, turning away from me into the pillows. My fingers linger on her arm for a second, drinking in for just that moment the ecstasy of that moment; of being able to touch a woman. My fingers are a blight against her skin, pale, cold death against the vibrancy of life. And so I remove them, and she murmurs something quietly that I cannot hear.
My heart is overflowing with whispered comforts that linger at the edges of my lips, almost ready to come forth. But, in the end, I can say nothing, not to this reposing beauty who graces me with her presence. I love enough to die of it, enough to retreat into my music for all eternity.
Straining, yearning longings unspoken, I quietly leave her room, with one last lingering, pleading glance.