Summary: (Prolly Susan Kay verse. At least disfigurement wise.) Christine asks Erik to go for a walk in the moonlight. Erik has an attack and naturally things go downhill from there. On the upside, Christine realizes a few things.
A/N: This Christine is not the simpering little mouse that is so often pheatured in Phics, (including my own…) This is a Christine who goes out and gets what she wants. Dedicated to my Christine (yes that is her real name, and yes I know I'm a lucky bastard.) I suppose you could surmise that this Christine is her… Cor this is getting complicated. And there is a certain amount of… well… necrophiliacism in here. Also, it's the SK verse, but kinda screwed up.
A/N2: Warning: This phic hit me whilst I was biking home from buying my Christine an opening night gift and listening to "Eden" on my cdplayer. I think it's a nice song and naturally… well I think you can figure it out from there.
Disclaimer: HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE! I wuv disclaimers… Anyhow, the song lyrics are Sarah Brightman (Yes, yes, I love fishface as well. She has an absolutely gorgeous singing voice.) So they belong to her… or whoever produced the album… or the lyricist… or whatever. I highly recommend listening to the "Eden" album while reading this. Words in boldface italic are lyrics.
Ahem. I hope this phic, whose characters are highly OOC, gives you the warm and fuzzlies.
Also I should properly warn you, I listen to the angstied songs from Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, and the Regimental Band of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards whilst writing this fic.
It had started out as a simple walk and was rapidly becoming one of the worst nights of Christine's life. Erik had remained tight lipped and shocked as Christine stammered out her plea.
Did you ever think of me as your best friend?
Did I ever think of you, I'm not complaining.
"Please Erik, just a short walk. You'll love it, I promise. The moon is full. It's so bright and beautiful. Let's just go, you and me." She had said, the words tumbling out of her mouth.
"Alright…" Erik had said slowly. "If that is what you want to do, we shall go for a walk."
He stood up stiffly, lowering his cloak around his shoulders and slipping on the wide brimmed felt hat that helped hide his mask.
Christine felt later that she should have realized what was wrong before they were out alone in the darkened park. He had walked so stiffly, as if he were in pain every bit of the way. It occurred to her that he had been, only he had been too stubborn to tell her and ruin her enjoyment of the fresh air and huge silver moon.
"Are you ready, my dear?" he asked.
She took his hand firmly in her own, leading him out of the oppressive blackness of the Opera House catacombs. The chilly night air greeted them with open arms, Christine felt Erik trying to disengage her hand, and she turned her face toward him and tightened her hold on him.
"Don't be shy, Erik." she teased.
The golden eyes behind the mask were hidden in shadow and the full-face mask lent her no insight as to what or how he was feeling.
"Let's go to the park. It's beautiful there."
I never tried to feel. I never tried to feel.
Erik grunted in ascension, allowing her to lead him down the streets of Paris to a small park with an artificial pond and various fountains. Christine smiled at Erik encouragingly as she sat herself down on the marble edge of a fountain.
"Erik..?" she asked, holding out a hand to him.
Her Angel stood in the gloom created by a tall willow tree, as if afraid to come out of the shadows. Hesitantly, the Phantom of the Opera stepped out of the darkness that still clung to him like the black cloak around his bony shoulders. Christine smiled and stood, invading his personal space.
"I'm cold." she said deviously.
Erik started to take off his cloak to wrap around his ingénue's shoulders but she stopped his hands and pressed herself against his thin chest. He seemed unsure of what to do, his arms hung limp at his sides. Christine sighed internally, this was going to be more difficult that she had expected.
I never tried to reach. I never tried to reach, your Eden.
She'd never tried to break through his cold exterior like this before. His strongly built walls of music and morphine had prevented her till now. The dark haired soprano slid her arms around her maestro's waist and leaned into him. His soft wool cloak enfolded her like black angel's wings. Slowly, his pale hands came to rest on her slim waist.
"Christine I-" he started.
"Shhh… It's ok." she murmured.
Christine wished they had just stayed home. That way when the attack hit, she wouldn't have had to flag down that brougham and give directions to a highly confused coachman. It struck Christine as odd that she now considered the house on the lake home, but it was more of a home than she had ever had.
She could hear his heart racing under her ear. Christine could feel his hands, unnaturally cold, through her bodice. She had asked him once about the coldness of his hands, hands that brought such beautiful music to the world. He had explained it away as 'bad circulation'. Christine reached up and gently touched the portion of skin on his cheek that was no covered by the cruel white mask.
Did I ever think of you, as my enemy?
Did you ever think of me, I'm complaining.
She heard Erik's sobbing intake of breath as her warm fingers touched his unnatural pallor. She wanted to cry herself, she hated whoever had made him this afraid to be touched or to touch another. Then she realized it was herself who had made him afraid. Herself and the entire world and all its inhabitants.
"Don't be afraid of me…" she murmured.
"Afraid? I'm not afraid of you… You should be afraid of me… You should hate me." he replied, self-loathing evident in his voice. "I'm a monster."
"No." she said contradictorily. "You're not. You're beautiful…"
Suddenly he whirled away from her, tearing the mask from his face. He turned back to her, golden eyes rimmed red with fury.
"Beautiful?" he cried, thin lips curling in a sneer. "The only ones who crave this flesh are the worms and the maggots, Christine."
Christine smile sadly at the man she realized held her heart. Golden eyes stared out at her from deep-set sockets. The young soprano touched his pale white-grey cheek, the sunken flesh was slightly cold to the touch. The ruins of his nose cast deep shadows on an already shadowed face.
"My poor Erik. Why is it so hard to believe I love you?"
He tried to duck away, to hide his ruined face from her but she held his face firmly in her hands, staring into his eyes.
I never tried to feel. I never tried to feel.
I never tried to reach, I never tried to reach, your Eden.
"I do, you know. I love you." Christie said softly.
Erik hissed, again trying to free himself of her hold.
"Don't say that!" he growled.
"I love you." each time she said those three words, it became more and more obvious to her that she had loved him all along.
She pressed her lips to his, kissing him hard. It wasn't a very good kiss, she had to say, she had taken him completely by surprise and his golden eyes were wide open with what looked like fear.
"I love you." she insisted.
She could feel hot tears trickling down his cheeks and onto the backs of her slender hands.
"Christine… You can't love me." he practically begged.
"Who says I can't? I can do whatever I want." she replied defiantly.
She pulled him to her once more, kissing him again. This time it was better, Erik let out a strangled moan and Christine felt herself being lifted off the ground as he wrapped her in his arms. He let her down suddenly, swearing as he pressed a hand over his heart.
"No! Not now. Not now!" he groaned, breathing heavily.
"Erik? What's wrong-"
"Christine… God I-"
He dropped to his knees and Christine fell beside him. Her eyes met his, his full of pain and regret; hers full of worry and fear.
"I'm sorry…" he moaned, collapsing dead away onto the cobblestones.
"Erik!" Christine cried, immediately pulling her maestro into her lap. "No, Erik. No!"Your Eden
"Damnit Erik!" she swore, surprising even herself. "Don't you dare quit before we've had a chance to begin!"
Holding an unmasked Phantom in the park, Christine began to cry. Just when everything had seemed so perfect and right, the bottom dropped out of her world.
Christine tried desperately to reign in her blind panic, which was rapidly threatening to drive her mad. Her mind repeated the same two words over and over gain. Help Erik. Help Erik. Help Erik. HELP HIM!
"Erik? Erik, please be alright." she prayed.
Her eyes searched the surrounding area for someone, anyone to help. Of course there was no one there. She didn't even know what time it was. Just then, the loud tolling of bells sounded. The bell clanged eleven times and on the eleventh toll, Christine knew what to do. Regretfully, she tugged Erik in the shadows of the willow tree to lean him against the trunk of the tree. She tried once more to wake him, but he remained stubbornly unconscious, breathing shallowly. She wrapped his cloak around him, hiding his white shirt and tie from sight and tipped his felt hat over his face, so that the pale death's head could not be seen. Biting her lip, she turned and ran fast as she could to the church.
Her small hands hammered desperately at the heavy oaken door as she called for help. Christine could hear footsteps coming down a stairway and soon a strong looking barrel chested man opened the door.
Upon seeing a shivering and crying young woman standing on his doorstep, the priest's eyes grew wide and his arms stretched out to draw her into the warmth of the building.
"Please Father, I haven't got much time-"
"Whatever is the matter, Child?" the large priest asked, almost dreading the response.
"My…my… he's ill… I can't lift him… I need help! He's in the park. I need help getting him home-"
"The Paris Opera House." Christine blurted out, looking furious at herself the moment the words were out of her mouth.
"Couldn't you have tracked down a carriage? Even at this time of night-"
"You don't understand, Father. Maestro, he-"
Father Anderson nodded sharply and stood up.
"Alright child. I'll only be a moment."
"No Father, we must go now!"
"You're friend is ill, surely he will not go anywhere-"
"You don't understand! If someone finds him- His face! They'll- God what'll I do!"
Father Anderson was not a stupid man. He realized there was more to this story than was being presented, but nevertheless, he threw on a coat and trousers and let the girl lead him to the scene, lantern in hand.
Christine disappeared into the shadows and Father Anderson could hear her let out a small sigh of relief.
"He's still here."
The priest started toward the spot where Christine had knelt, she leapt to her feet and held out her hands.
"Erik is not… a normal man, father. Please promise you will still help him?" she begged.
The burly man nodded once and pushed past Christine to the cloaked form on the ground. The fedora had fallen to the side, revealing Erik's true face to the world. In all his life, Thierry Anderson had never seen such a sad sight. He turned to Christine, then with a seemingly fluid effort, scooped the Phantom up in his huge arms.
"What is… His name?" Father Anderson asked.
"Erik." Christine breathed.
Thierry smiled, as peculiar a pair as they undoubtedly were, the girl seemed to genuinely care for the skeletal man in his arms.
"See if you can flag down a brougham." the priest requested.
Christine nodded tersely and led the way to the street. After a few eternal minutes, a lazy horsed carriage appeared on the street. Christine waved her arms frantically. The horse whickered and pawed at the cobblestones as Christine spoke hurriedly with the driver.
"Who are you?" a soft melodic, albeit hoarse, voice asked suddenly.
Thierry looked down to see the man in his arms, golden eyes open.
"Father Anderson. Your young woman came to me for help."
"I can stand on my own-"
"No you can't." Thierry interrupted. "I daresay this isn't the first time this has happened?"
The golden eyes gave him a cold calculating stare as Christine bribed the coachmen to keep silent about his sick passenger.
"This is humiliating." the Phantom hissed.
"No more so than if that lovely young lady had to drag you all the way back to the Opera Populaire." Thierry retorted.
That shut him up, Christine had opened the door to the cab and was motioning for Thierry to come over. The priest handed Erik into the cab, climbing in after Christine and the Phantom.
The ride was silent, but for Erik's occasional gasping breaths, Christine held onto his hand with a grip that could have shattered bone. After what seemed an eternity, the brougham arrived at the Rue Scribe. The priest jumped out and held out a hand to help the Phantom from the carriage.
"Christine… We cannot… Cannot let him see the Door." Erik murmured breathlessly, one long fingered hand splayed out on the nearest stone wall for support.
"He's a priest, Erik. He'll do us no harm." she replied soothingly.
"No one must know where-"
"If it pleases you, I shall leave, but I shudder to think what could happen should you fall on the way to your home. I imagine it is quite deep underground." Thierry said with a slight smile playing across his face.
The Phantom grumbled unappreciatively and made a quick gesture of ascent to Christine. She pulled forth a peculiarly shaped object and used it to open an apparently seamless doorway. Father Anderson, slid an arm around the Phantom's waist and pretended not to notice Erik's entire body stiffening at the contact. He didn't like to think what cruelties had been done to the disfigured man…He felt sure he would find them intolerable…
Christine led Father Anderson down through the catacombs to the house beyond the lake. Erik's face was frozen in a grimace as Christine activated the mechanism that opened the front door. The priest followed the little soprano through the door, supporting Erik effortlessly.
"Put me down. Let me go." Erik hissed through clenched teeth. He hated being weak. And what's more, he hated Christine seeing him as weak.
Reluctantly, Father Anderson released the Phantom, Erik stumbled a little and had to support himself against a wall.
"Christine, my dear, if you would be so kind
as to escort our guest back to the surface. I have not the strength
to… deal with him, as I would usually have done." He directed his
next comment to the priest himself. "You have the means with which
to betray me to my worst enemy; mankind. Should you chose to reveal
my whereabouts, my blood will be on your hands."
Theirry looked indignant.
"I'll do nothing of the sort, monsieur. You clearly have had nothing but bad experiences with mankind, but I assure you, I shall take your secret with me to the grave." the priest proclaimed.
Sensing impending disaster, Christine took the priest gently by the arm and escorted him out of the house. Once Erik heard the front door shut, he allowed himself to slide down the wall, his legs no longer able to support him. He let himself weep with pain, one skeletal hand clutching at his chest. The next thing he was aware of was Christine, stroking his cheek and murmuring soothing nonsense to him.
"Erik, wake up. You cannot lie here all night. Let me get you to bed."
The Phantom shook his head vigorously. Or at least as vigorously as he could in his current condition.
"Just get me… to the chair. Please. I've not the strength…"
Christine helped him into his armchair, wincing when she heard his painful intake of breath. He sat stock still with his back pressed hard against the chair. His long hands clenched and unclenched spasmodically on the upholstered arms on the wing-backed chair.
His breathing was coming in tortured gasps.
"Can I get you anything? What can I do to help?" she asked.
"Just…Stay… Please." he said disjointedly.
She bit her lip and nodded.
"Of course I'll stay. Did you think I'd leave you here all alone when you're ill?"
The look in his pain-bright eyes told her he believed he deserved to be alone.
"My Erik… I'll always stay." she promised.
The pain in his chest spasmed again and again until he passed out from the pain.
I never tried to feel…
He awoke to a pleasant pressure on his leg. He swallowed, looking to down to see Christine, asleep with her head on his bony knee.
"Christine…" he croaked.
She started awake, blinking sleep from her eyes and looking up at him with concern.
"How do you feel?" she asked immediately.
"I-I'm better… I think." he straightened slightly; the burning, throbbing pain in his chest had faded to a dull ache. "I'm fine."
He attempted a smile and to his utter shock, she didn't run away at the sight of his corpselike lips twisting into a smile. She smiled back at him.
"You stayed." he murmured.I never tried to reach…
"Of course I stayed. I love you."
He raised an eyebrow. So it hadn't been a figment of his delirious imagination.
"Hold me?" she asked.
The eyebrow jumped even further. She didn't wait for him to respond; instead she slid into his lap and curled her slender body around his even skinnier one. Her head pillowed against his bony shoulder, she wrapped one arm around his neck and on around his torso, pulling his face closer to hers.
"Don't scare me like that again, ok?" she said, leaning her forehead against his.
"I'll do my best."
"Well that's good enough for me." she gave him a kiss on the corner of his mouth.
"I…I don't know what to say, Christine… I've never… I mean… I don't…"
"'I love you', would be a nice start. You do, don't you?"
"I love you. And of course."
"I love you. I love you." Christine replied.
"Once more and in some cultures we're married." he grinned.
She looked up at him, long eyelashes shadowy against her perfect porcelain flesh. Blue eyes stared up at him seriously.
"I love you."