(R/C) What would have happened if, instead of Christine, Raoul was faced with the ultimatum? What if he had both his and Christine's life were in his hands? Really cheesy and cliche, but give it a try, s'il-vous-plait? (Based off an actual dream and I woke up crying...sniff sniff)
Warning: Multiple character deaths. Please please please review!!!! Thanks!
The dark dungeon dripped tears. They fell onto the ground and splattered, filling every dark corner with the sound. But Raoul de Chagny did not notice anything. The full force of his horrified gaze was focused on what was in front of him. His ultimatum.
The Phantom's leather-gloved hands clutched her throat with a desperate power that Raoul could only imagine. The faint light in the dungeon caught the blade of the knife that was also poised at her throat. And their eyes. His, filled with a cruel, cold, maleficent amusement. And hers, shining with tears of fear and overwhelming love. But what hurt Raoul the most was the fact that he did not know with absolute certainly for whom the tears were for. In couldn't shake the look in her eyes during her duet with the Phantom. The Point of No Return. Seeing their situation now, it couldn't have been more appropriate.
"Monsieur Vicomte, you try my patience." His calculating, apathetic voice echoed throughout the chambers. Raoul's entire body tensed; he wasn't ready for this! Not yet. "Make your choice!" came the Phantom's voice again, accompanied by a choked gasp. He'd tightened his grip yet again. The dagger cut her neck a little bit and a single drop of blood slid down her pale skin, creating a crimson river, meandering down her skin.
"Christine…" Raoul whispered, yearning and longing lacing his voice. The Phantom's laugher came again.
"The question is very simple, really, Vicomte. Either you die, or she dies. Make your choice."
Raoul knew the answer, of course. He would give his life for her. He just wanted to look at her for a little while longer, just a little longer. Her beautiful face, her angelic eyes…his Christine.
"Yes," his strangled voice came, "I'm willing…" And with that, Raoul knew he had sealed his fate. The Phantom snickered and removed the knife from her throat, his fingers still coiled tightly around Christine's neck. He threw at Raoul a vial of clear fluid.
"Drink it, and Christine goes free."
"NO!" Raoul's head whipped around at the sound of Christine's desperate shriek. The Phantom had told her not to make a sound! But seeing that there was no movement on the Phantom's part, she continued.
"Raoul, please…I'm begging you, you can't! You can't leave me here, alone. Raoul….p-please…" she broke down into tattered sobs. She couldn't live without him…
Raoul smiled gently, a solitary tear rolling down his cheek. He had long since accepted his imminent death; now all he wanted was to spend the little time he had left with his Little Lotte. Slowly, the melody flowed out from between his lips:
"No more talk of darkness, forget these wide-eyed fears. I'm here, no one can harm you. My words will warm and calm you." The lyrics and Raoul's soft melody continued to drift towards her. "Let me by your freedom; let daylight dry your tears. I'm here, with you beside you, to guard you and to guide you."
It suddenly occurred to Christine that this would be the last time she could sing with him. Voice broken, she sang:
"All I want is freedom, a world with no more night. And y-" Christine stopped with a choked breath. She deftly felt the Phantom's fingertips pressing into her windpipe, cutting off her breath entirely.
Raoul froze as he saw Christine trying so hard to get a breath of air, struggling against her captor. And yet her eyes were serene, seemingly regardless of the fingers that were killing her slowly. They were focused only on him, consumed with a blazing passion. No, you can't, Raoul screamed silently to the Phantom, too shocked to make a sound. You can't do his now.
The Phantom felt her struggling underneath his grip, writhing underneath his fingers at a chance for life. He couldn't take the innocence of their exchange. The emotions were so thick in the air he could almost feel them on his skin. And it sickened him to know that everything his Christine felt was for the boy. To her, he was just a monster. He looked at her lips, rose petals gaping open trying to suck in that breath of air she needed so desperately. And he couldn't do it. He couldn't bring himself to press his hand down entirely. He couldn't bring himself to kill her. Slowly, his fingers loosened their pressure just enough for some air to get through. And to the Phantom's utter shock, her voice, now weak with abuse, continued to sing.
"And you, always beside you, to hold me and to hide me." She looked at Raoul, almost as if pleading for an answer. If he was going to kill her, there was no better time to do it. She would die singing with him, caught in his love forever.
"Then say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime. Let me lead you from your solitude. Say you need me with you, here, beside you. Anywhere you go let me go too."
Raoul's voice mingled with hers as the melodious strains of a last love song, pure and innocent, desperately tried to drown out the darkness.
"Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime. Anywhere you go let me go too." The volume of their voices dropped suddenly. "Love me…that's all I ask of you."
Raoul's and Christine's gazes held for the longest time. They both knew that they would have no love, no lifetime after this instant. He wouldn't be there to chase away her fears, or to calm her with his words. He wouldn't be there, always beside her, holding her and guiding her. And Raoul knew that after this moment, she would disappear for him. Maybe she would forget him, he didn't know. But he knew one thing for certain: he loved her, more than he could ever imagine possible.
They both tried desperately to engrave each other's face in their minds. Cheeks flushed, eyes longing, tears flowing. What he would give to be able to hold her in his arms, one last time...
Raoul turned to the Phantom. Surprisingly, he no longer felt any hatred for him. The Phantom was no longer the monster Raoul thought he was. He was just a man made of flesh and blood who loved Christine, probably just as much as he did.
"Take good care of her," Raoul whispered in a broken voice. The masked face was unreadable and emotionless.
"Christine had seemed to lose the ability to speak. Only her eyes looked at Raoul, and the whole of her heart reached out to him through her gaze.
He looked at her. She looked at him. And then, he downed the vial.
The effect was almost immediate. Raoul felt a burning sensation from his chest, and he let go of the glass vial, shattering it on the floor. He dropped to the floor convulsing, clutching at his chest. Blood flowed freely from his lips, splattering onto the cold stone floor. Trying hard not to lose consciousness, Raoul looked up through feverish, bloodshot eyes at the Phantom, rasping,
"Remember y-your….pr-promise…" Unfeeling, the Phantom released his death grip on Christine, long gloved fingers unwrapping themselves from her throat.
A breath of fresh air rushed inside Christine, giving her a newfound strength. She fled over to Raoul, tripping over her own feet before crashing to her knees in from of him. Tenderly, she cradled his limp head, caressing his hair and trying to wipe off his already stained lips. Fresh tears mingled with raw blood flowed together onto the ground, running rivers across the dungeon floor.
He looked at her, struggling to get his words out.
"L-love me…" he whispered, "that's all…I-I ask...of…you." As Raoul breathed out this last note, he marveled anew at how beautiful Christine was. Then, everything turned black.
Time stopped for Christine. She gently touched his cheek and gazed back into his eyes, still shining with tears. Gently, she lay down on the drenched floor, wrapping his arms tenderly around herself. She closed her eyes and savored the feeling of his arms protecting her and the heat that still emanated from his body. She buried her head deeper into shi chest, ignoring his blood that stained her clothing. She was safe, nothing could hurt her….
"He died for you, you know. Raoul gave his life for Christine Daae. And it's your fault that he's dead. All, your, fault." The Phantom's voice snaked itself into her hears. It pulled her from her haven in Raoul's arms, dissolving her into racking sobs. Christine's entire being was focused on the tears she was shedding for him. Her safety. Her protection. Her love. Her Raoul.
The Phantom's word echoed steadily within her mind. You killed him, you killed him…In her daze, she felt a glimmer of an emotion other than sadness arise. Anger.
Slowly, she detached herself gently from Raoul's warmth and turned around. Anger laced every tear that fell from her face.
"I killed him? I killed him?" she asked softly, menacingly. "YOU KILLED HIM!" she stood. "You used his love for me against him, you made him kill himself! So don't you DARE tell me that I was the one responsible for his death. I loved him! I LOVE HIM!" At this, Christine broke down once again.
The Phantom looked at the pitiful form of Christine kneeling over Raoul's dead body, sobbing her heart out. Throughout this entire episode, he had tried to conceal his emotion by playing the part of a sadistically cold and cruelly apathetic monster, and he thought that he had played the part quite well. But seeing the tragedy that unraveled itself before his eyes, he couldn't help but feel some regret. He had never thought that the boy would die for her. His plan was to take Christine away and let Raoul free, making himself look merciful. But he had died, and now Christine would hate him forever.
Christine. His only love. She had captured him the first time he had heard her sing. He had taught her, and taught her well. What joy he had felt every time she had called him her Angel! Endless nights he had spent tossing and turning, thinking of her, of Christine. Of how he would keep her forever, how she might grow to love him. And slowly, those thoughts consumed him. But when he saw that she and that choir boy were starting to fall in love, the Phantom had to resort to different measures. He had to have Christine, she was his!
And now, she would never love him.
Slowly, Christine kneeled down by Raoul, lovingly stroking his hair. Then, she looked up.
Their gazes met.
The Phantom, who thought himself the most frightful creature on this earth, was chilled when he saw her look. She was drowning. All her innocence, all her hope, all her joy…everything was lost. Instead, it was replaced by a gaze beyond reason, beyond hope, beyond desperation. Beyond the point of no return.
Christine saw the Phantom's ocher eyes filled with such a sadness that it chilled her soul even more. There was such intensity behind that look. The passion of a hopeless obsession, a consuming love, laced with regret and guilt. Was he genuinely remorseful for what he had done?
But it was all too late now. The Phantom had killed him. Raoul had given her an anchor, a constant in her life. She could always rely on him. His gentle smiles, his understanding, and above all, his undying love for her. She had felt so safe in his embrace; such warmth and such reassurance. She had tentatively given her all to him, finally trusting him with her love. And he was gone.
Now the Phantom had to pay. With her death. Tenderly, she knelt down closer to Raoul. Their lips moved closer, closer, closer…
And that was when the Phantom realized her motives. He had concocted that poison himself, a poison so strong that even a fraction of a drop would kill. There must had to have been some left over on Raoul's lips. And if she was going to kiss him…
"NO!" The roar escaped him before he could stop it. But it was too late.
Her lips pressed into his with a feeling so tender it hurt his heart to watch. Her last message. Her last act. And him, helpless against it all.
Again, the drug manifested its potency almost immediately. Everything moved in slow motion as she slumped onto the floor. Blood tumbling fiercely across her lips, she dragged Raoul's arms around herself. The Phantom heard a small, broken voice sing out:
"L-love m-me…that's a-all I a-ask….of you." And then, her breath turned cold.
He stood there for the longest time, staring at the lovers' corpses. Raoul's arms wrapped around Christine's frail body, clasped together in an eternal embrace. Slowly, a tear rolled down from his ruined eye and dropped onto the floor, mixing with the blood and tears. How could this have happened? Christine. Christine…
Finally, a voice filled with an overwhelming sadness, fiery passion and broken into a thousand pieces ripped through the walls of the dungeon.
"Love me, that's all I'd asked of you!"