Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Left to Chance- Chapter 35
secretsmile19 (livejournal)/moon maiden of time
# 29- Affaire de Coeur (affair of the heart; love affair)
Erik/Raoul de Chagny
Disclaimer/claimer: "
Phantom of the Opera" belongs to Gaston Leroux; the musical was made by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This is not mine.
It was not love. It was…just mere fascination. Really.

Christine lifted the bundle of daisies and brought them to her nose. With a frown, she set the flowers back down in their place. Yes, they were still very pretty and not wilting yet, but the scent was weak. They would not be worth the money she spent on them. Swinging her basket and humming, she continued her way along the stalls, fingers out to brush the silky-soft petals.

She was doing just fine, until, minutes later, she stopped, hand snapping up to her mouth. Sucking on her wounded finger, she looked at the stall. Of course. Roses. And one of the thorns had caught her finger, just enough to make it bleed. Carefully, she reached out with her free hand and brushed it over the soft petals.

She would never be able to look at roses the same way. It would always throw her back to months of madness and passion and operas written just for her by a damned angel. And yet…if things continued as they were, that would change. Giggling a little now, she smiled. It had only been two weeks since her incident with both Raoul and the Opera Ghost in the middle of the market. Something must have happened, something good, because the Opera Populaire always smelled of roses. Raoul usually had a bouquet in his hand when he came to the opera. And she had seen the Opera Ghost lurking in the shadows with a bundle of flowers in his hands.

They were so very adorable. Raoul, eager to love, easily gave love to the Opera Ghost, one who craved it. The Opera Ghost, taken by the easiness of giving love, gave love back in return. Grinning shamelessly, she pulled one of the roses from the stall and lifted it to her face to smell.

Better yet was that they both seemed happy. Raoul positively glowed when he came to the Opera Populaire- a more and more frequent occurrence lately. And the Opera Ghost was writing again. Beautiful, lifting songs that echoed their way through the cellars and resounded with joy in the large halls. The managers had complained (they were the only ones who did, actually, as everybody else admired the songs and were lulled into thoughts of a somewhat tranquil Opera Ghost) to Raoul about the songs interrupting rehearsals. Raoul had simply laughed in their faces (Christine was afraid that they would tell Phillipe and Raoul would be pulled away from the Opera by his older brother, but nothing had happened) and told them to be thankful that the Opera Ghost wasn't terrorizing them and to hope that the Ghost would be kind enough to write another opera for them. Then he had vanished, probably down to the cellars.

Christine put the rose back in the stall. It was beautiful, of course. But it was a little much for her. Humming, she continued on her way down the stalls.

Madame Giry flipped over the small card and read.

Thank you for taking me down to the cellars that first time.

Vicomte Raoul de Changy

Tossing the card on the vanity, she lifted the large yellow flowers to her face; the scent was light but sweet. She would have to find a vase somewhere for them. Setting the flowers down, she eyed the card again.

The Vicomte was thanking her? For taking him down to the cellars? That had set everything into motion, so she could understand why he thought it necessary to thank her. But, oh, she still had to worry. The Vicomte might have been happy with the turn of events and she could hear Erik's joy in his music, but she still had to worry.

She had seen the Vicomte's devotion to love (although his love at the time had been Christine) and all had glimpsed Erik's obsession with his love, so they would be loyal to each other. But there was still the fact that they had been enemies once. And the fact that Erik was mad. Their relationship appeared to be a towering house of cards: one wrong move and the whole thing would tumble.

Meg bounded into the room and rushed over to mother. Being an inquisitive child, she snatched up the card and leaned over the flowers. "These are beautiful, mama," she said, eyes going from flowers to card to Madame Giry. "Are you going to keep them in a vase? I saw one earlier. It would do well with the yellow."

Madame Giry nodded once. "I will get it." She turned and headed for the door, when Meg stopped her with, "Do you think everything will be okay?"

She looked over her shoulder at her child. Erik was mad, but the Vicomte had shown himself to be insane. And they had only been enemies due to Christine; as far as she had seen, Christine was fully supporting whatever relationship was going on between the two.

With the smallest of sighs for her worry, she said, "I believe everything will be fine." She turned and walked out of the room.

His home reeked of roses. The flowers were strewn everywhere, all green and red and sometimes even dark pink (the boy insisted they were light red, but he insisted that his angel was, in fact, blind). Normally, all of the flowers would be annoying, as they got in the way of everything. But it was okay because, when the boy had to surface, he could look at the roses and be reminded of the dark blush that covered Raoul's face, the dark color of his mouth after many kisses, the dark red of the love bites he left…

He traced his finger along a darkening red-purple bruise on the edge of a hipbone. Seconds later, a hand batted at him. "That tickles," Raoul murmured, eyes closed, mouth turned up in a slight smile.

As much as Erik loved the color of red on his angel, he loved the dark gold halo of hair after being raked through with his fingers and the cream color of skin against black sheets more.

Smiling, Erik leaned forward to place a kiss where jaw met throat; Raoul, in response, reached out to pull Erik even closer. Then, "You're insatiable," from Raoul, quietly, laughingly said.

Erik frowned against the warm skin of Raoul's throat. "You should not be coherent enough to use words like that." Frown turning into a grin, he moved so he was above Raoul. "And you like it anyway."

Raoul laughed lightly. "Of course." He opened his eyes to give Erik a lazy once-over. "Who wouldn't?"

And as much as Erik loved the gold hair or pale skin, he was absolutely taken with the bright blue eyes. Those were his weakness. Now, if he could just make those wonderfully blue eyes go hazy with pleasure and desire…

His grin became mischievous as he leaned down.

Raoul was so in love with Erik's mouth. Not only did it house an alluring voice, but that mouth was able to naughty naughty things to him. Pulling back from the kiss, Raoul let out a breathy laugh. To think, he was in bed with the feared Phantom of the Opera. His Phantom of the Opera. His Opera Ghost. His Angel of Music.

…His Erik.

He reached up, drew his hand along Erik's face, and ran his fingers through the soft black hair. No masks here—figuratively and literally. Erik leaned into the touch, green-gold eyes darkening. He pulled Erik down into another kiss; he only pulled back to say, "I love you so much," against that naughty, wicked mouth. Erik pulled back, just the slightest bit.

And, here, this was the real reason he loved Erik's mouth: the edges turned up, slowly, almost hesitantly, into a smile—one free of evil, free of cruelty, and full of love.

Erik was pressing that mouth to him again, all over his face. "As do I, my angel." Raoul could feel the heat of the flush that overcame him from the endearment. Erik took in the blush and his smile became wicked. Raoul grinned and let himself be pulled close.